ETSU to screen ‘Forest for the Trees’ documentary

Published 12:51 pm Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Film examines ‘Impact of Stigma on Pregnant and Postpartum Women with Substance Use Disorder’

East Tennessee State University will host a film screening of a documentary titled “Forest for the Trees: The Impact of Stigma on Pregnant and Postpartum Women with Substance Use Disorder,” featuring ETSU faculty and other regional addiction experts.

The film screening will be in the Powell Recital Hall at the ETSU Martin Center for the Arts on Wednesday, May 8, from 6-8 p.m. Registration is required, but the event is free and open to the public.

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“Forest for the Trees” was developed in partnership between Dr. Kelly Moore of the ETSU Ballad Health Strong BRAIN Institute and Jordy Whetsell of Chroma Creative.

“The purpose of this film is to raise awareness about the stigma surrounding substance use disorder among pregnant and postpartum women,” said Moore, also an assistant professor in the ETSU Department of Psychology and affiliate faculty of ETSU’s Addiction Science Center.

The documentary explains the science behind substance use disorder and its treatment, citing the benefits of a health care approach involving evidence-based screening and empathetic interactions with pregnant patients.

This discussion is an especially relevant topic in Tennessee, which has the second-highest drug overdose rate in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Tennessee Department of Health granted $175,000 for the film’s creation, which was funded through the Overdose Data to Action federal award from the CDC.  Moore, who has expertise in stigma reduction, was asked to spearhead the project.

The film features expertise from ETSU professors in psychology and addiction medicine, including Moore, Dr. Diana Morelen and Dr. Joyce Troxler. Collaborators from throughout the East Tennessee region and beyond include Dr. Stephen Loyd, Cedar Recovery; Dr. Kathleen Seaton, Catalyst Health Solutions; Morgan Tipton, Babysteps Clinic; The Honorable Duane Slone, Fourth Judicial District; Dr. Jennifer Tourville, SMART Policy Network; Kyle Cook, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital; Elizabeth Childress; Maia Hughes; and Dr. Hendree Jones of the University of North Carolina’s Horizons Program.

Register for the screening at