“Waiting for Tearah” follows a family’s struggle to navigate America’s mental health care system, and explores the often unseen costs of care.
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At 16, Tearah, who suffers from mental illness, remains stuck in a hospital month after month, as her mother struggles to navigate America’s mental health care system. As Shayna, a single parent of three girls, fights to get Tearah residential treatment, she faces the possibility of losing her home and even custody of her daughter.
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This film was produced as part of the FRONTLINE and Firelight Media fellowship to support diverse independent producers interested in investigative documentary filmmaking.
Additional reporting support for Documentalista in partnership with Type Investigations.
Funding for WAITING FOR TEARAH was provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and Type Investigations.
Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Abrams Foundation, the Park Foundation, The John and Helen Glessner Family Trust, and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation.
ABOUT FIRELIGHT MEDIA: Founded and led by MacArthur “genius” fellow Stanley Nelson and award-winning writer and philanthropy executive Marcia Smith, Firelight was born to address the deficit of films made by and about diverse communities. Recent productions include: Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Freedom Summer, and Freedom Riders. Firelight’s flagship program – the Documentary Lab – is a fellowship that provides mentorship, funding, and access to emerging filmmakers from underrepresented communities.
Major funding for Firelight is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcast, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Nathan Cummings Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, Lumina Foundation, Andrus Family Fund, Wellspring Advisers, Bertha Foundation, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and Genuine Article Pictures.