NAMI to Screen Award-Winning Documentary Wednesday
NAMI-Moore County, in cooperation with NAMI-North Carolina and Southern Regional AHEC (in affiliation with Duke University Medical Center), will screen the award-winning documentary "Unlisted" on Wednesday.
The screening begins at 7 p.m. in Owens Auditorium at Sandhills Community College on Airport Road. Dr. Delaney Ruston, the filmmaker and a physician, will be on hand after the presentation for a question-and-answer session. This event is free and open to the public.
"Unlisted" premiered on PBS nationwide in October 2010 to coincide with Mental Illness Awareness Week. This one-hour film won Most Compelling Documentary at Seattle's True Independent Film Festival and was featured at the national conferences of Mental Health America and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
The documentary gives a moving first person account of producer/director Ruston's relationship with her father as she faces the emotionally wrenching effects of his illness in the past and the present.
For many years, Ruston was estranged from her father, Richard, a poet and novelist who struggled with schizophrenia and at times lived on the streets, according to a news release about the documentary.
Medical school taught Ruston about the science of mental illness, but not the actual experience of people living with it.
When she reconnects with her father he is doing well, in supportive housing and on treatment.
What starts as a gripping story of reconciliation suddenly shifts when Richard stops his medicine and goes missing.
"Severe mental illness can tear families apart but not for the reasons people commonly think of ... yes, the symptoms can be difficult, but what often tears families apart is the difficulty in getting services and treatment," Ruston said. "I was initially motivated to make 'Unlisted' by this political reality, but soon realized it was for more personal reasons that I kept going."
David Davis, vice president of national television production for Oregon's PBS station, said, "'Unlisted' is very special - personal, beautifully crafted, and moving, while also exposing the heartbreak and frustration faced by families coping with mental illness."
"America's mental health care system is in crisis, but many courageous people are fighting for hope and recovery," said NAMI Executive Director Michael J Fitzpatrick."'Unlisted' is a powerful film and a vehicle for education."
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