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UnMASKing HOPE was released in January 2023 with life-changing-associated community outreach and educational components carrying the film’s themes, stories, and highlighted issues into the community. The partnership with Give an Hour (GAH) is focused on creating the largest impact possible around the critical issues the film addresses as GAH’s vision and mission are similarly aligned with unMASKing HOPE. 

The film, unMASKing HOPE, is the doorway to open the heart for change and healing; the outreach and community engagement is the safety net.

Eric ChristiansenDirector/Producer

Watch the Film

Visit the Producer’s Website

Resources for All Survivors

Post Film: statistics and resources for trauma

Understanding Trauma from:

Becky Lazinger, Jack Delaney, Ken Fairben, and John Delaney are all survivors of 9/11 who share their story through the UnMASKing HOPE film. It is important to recognize the physical and mental health effects that 9/11 survivors live with today. Recent analysis of WTC Health Program enrolled 9/11 survivors found that:

  • The average number of WTC certified conditions per enrolled survivor is 2.7
  • 23.1% of 9/11 survivors experienced posttraumatic stress disorder and 11.9% experienced depression
See if you are eligible and apply to the World Trade Center Health Program

Sandra Lee is an Iraq Veteran who suffers from PTSD, and a MST survivor who share her story in unMASKing HOPE.

Veterans are at an increased risk for PTSD. A 2014 study found that 87% of veterans were exposed to at least one potentially traumatizing event. The VA reports that 11-20 out of every 100 Veterans who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF) have PTSD in a given year.

Military Sexual Trauma (MST), including any sexual harassment or sexual assault that occurs while someone is in the military, is another cause of PTSD. The VA reports that, among veterans using the VA, 23% of women reported sexual assault when in the military and 55% of women and 38% of men have experienced sexual harassment when in the military.

Learn about and access the Veterans Crisis Line

Lyman Montgomery Ph.D., and Sandra Lee are survivors of sexual abuse who share their story of healing in unMASKing HOPE.

Sexual violence affects people of all genders, sexual orientations, and ages across every community. Greater than 1 in 3 women and atleast 1 in 6 men experience sexual violence in their lifetime. Nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 38 men have experienced completed or attempted rape.

Lyman is a survivor of child sexual abuse. 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys experience sexual abuse in childhood. Experiencing sexual abuse in childhood can affect a person over a lifetime and can result in both short and long-term physical and mental health consequences.

Sandra is a survivor of Military Sexual Trauma (MST). The VA reports that, among veterans using the VA, 23% of women reported sexual assault when in the military.

Visit 1in6 for information and services for men with histories of unwanted or abusive sexual experiences, and anyone who cares about themCall 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected to a sexual assault service provider in your areaVisit RAINN to be connected to a sexual assault service provider in your area

Molly Maurer and Heidi Bender are both mass shooting survivors who share their stories in unMASKing HOPE.

In the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting event, most survivors will experience a reaction, which will range across physical, behavioral, emotional, social, cognitive, and spiritual domains. Common reactions include “physical symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, gastrointestinal upset, appetite changes, chest pain, rapid heart rate, or high blood pressure; cognitive changes and dysfunction; and increases in emotions such as fear or anxiety, anger or rage, and sadness.”

According to the National Center for PTSD, of people who have witnessed a mass shooting, an estimated 28 percent develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and about a third develop acute stress disorder.

Mass shooting survivors may also experience depression, anxiety, and substance misuse.

Access Resources for Survivors and the Public following mass violence

Webinar Series

Filmmaker and Documentary Participants Discuss Healing

This discussion brought together an amazing group of survivors and experts who talked about the journey of recovering from trauma. Brave survivors shared their powerful message of HOPE while experts shared critical elements of healing and resources. Our hope is that the discussion inspires you to unMASK your own HOPE. Recorded March 23, 2022

This discussion brought together an open and vulnerable group of survivors and experts who talked about the path to healing from sexual trauma. It was highlighted that healing is a process and a lifelong journey.  There are many roads to healing. Recorded April 20, 2022