Free film to offer insight into mental illness

The Hadley Fund is inviting area residents to a free screening of a documentary film that focuses on the poignant story of a songwriter’s battle with mental illness.


The documentary will be shown on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 2 p.m. at West Chester University's Sykes Theater.

“Pack Up Your Sorrows: A Story of Illness, Hope & Transformation” will be shown on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 2 p.m. at Sykes Theater at West Chester University. The film chronicles the story of singer-songwriter Meg Hutchinson as she learns to live a healthy life with bipolar disorder. A Q&A with Hutchinson will follow the screening, a Hadley press release said.

Through Hutchinson’s eyes, viewers will explore different aspects of mood disorders–– how families try to deal with the illness in their midst, the biology of these diseases of the brain, and the effects of traditional and alternative therapies like medication and meditation. Along the way, Hutchinson seeks to understand the role mental illness has played in the lives of authors and historical figures, the release said.

In addition, Hutchinson asks some of her heroes what steps society can take to reduce the epidemic of suicide, especially among young people. Viewers will learn, as Hutchinson has, that these illnesses of the brain are not a moral failing or a character weakness, and that treatment options are improving.

The film, which was released in 2015, features interviews with leading psychologists, neuroscientists and advocates. It has been hailed as a vital tool in reducing the stigma associated with mental illness. It aims to diminish discrimination, promote outreach, and encourage community conversation.

For more information on the film, visit Sykes Theater is located at 110 West Rosedale Avenue on West Chester University’s campus.

All Hadley Fund events are free and open to the public, but tickets are required. For more information or to learn about other upcoming events, call 610-444-1855 or visit Event registration is available at

The Hadley Fund started in 1962 when Hal Holbrook presented “A Night with Mark Twain.” Since then many musicians, lecturers and performers have graced Hadley’s stages, many of whom became famous after they appeared Kennett Square.

Notable past performers have included Martin Luther King Jr., Linus Pauling, Julius Erving, Marian Anderson, Alex Haley, Norman Cousins, Ogden Nash and Gloria Steinem. More recently, Hadley seasons have included lectures by Stephen Kress on puffins, Jerrold Post on terrorism, Linda Ales on photography, and award-winning journalists Donald L. Bartlett and James B. Steele on health policies.


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