Before May 2016, when one would look up borderline personality disorder (BPD) the results were either strictly informational or negative; fourth year clinical psychology student, Betsy Usher, has changed that. She created an award winning film titled “I Am Borderline” that explores the journey of someone living with BPD.Usher says, “I created this short film to counteract all the negative stigma the mental health world has on BPD, I wanted to make something beautiful, meaningful, for the individual with BPD, sitting alone in their room, struggling with how to accept who they are.”Usher was inspired both by a family history of BPD and the stigma surrounding the disorder, so she combined her love of art and psychology to create an inspiring short film. “I wanted to create something beautiful, and I came to realize that maybe borderline is beautiful. More than anyone, those with BPD truly experience emotions, and they are profoundly caring and empathetic.” said Usher. And create something beautiful she did.“I Am Borderline” was also the winner of the Art With Impact Short Film Competition, 2016. Art With Impact is a program that promotes mental wellness by creating space for young people to learn and connect through art and media. The organization visits schools around the nation to encourage a dialogue on mental health issues that are considered taboo.
The film’s inception came about through Usher’s Alliant internship placement with the Wright Institute of Los Angeles (WILA). She works with WILA’s self-regulation project and helped them launch a clinic for BPD. One day, she went to the director and said she wanted to create a film to increase awareness; she got the go ahead and the wheels began to turn. “I listened to this song in the car and composed the whole thing in my head on the car ride home,” Usher says.
Usher is still participating in her her internship and will be receiving her Psy.D. in October. She has yet to receive her degree and has already made a lasting impact in her field, she is the perfect example of what a student can accomplish with some inspiration, a solid education, a well-tailored practicum placement, and — of course—a healthy dose of talent for artistic creativity.
Watch Betsy Usher’s film HERE.