Event will discuss mental illness and its effects on families.

August 23, 2018

Event will discuss mental illness and its effects on families.

LUDINGTON — A free community event on mental health’s impact on families will be held Sept. 19 at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts. The event will feature preview scenes from “Coming Up For Air,” a feature film shot in Ludington and other parts of west Michigan.  The event features West Michigan Community Mental Health Executive Director Lisa Williams, film producer Roger Rapoport, actors from the movie, and an introduction by community leader, Dr. Bill Anderson.

Following screening of key scenes from the film, Williams and Rapoport will speak on the critical role played by caregivers, and the resources that are available to help families in need.  The presentation will include questions and answers and group discussion. Increased awareness, dialogue, and connecting with those in need are the goals of this gathering.

The film was written by Rapoport and Deborah Staples and was filmed locally.

“The Ludington community is a key location in the film,” Rapaport said. “We are delighted to preview this up-to-the-minute look at why young people with no history of mental illness or violence can suddenly and unexpectedly become a threat to themselves and others.”

In the movie, Anna Russell (Staples) becomes worried by the behavior of her son Stan, who is further and further out of reach.   Because he is of age, she has no access to information about him. Anna must try to decipher if he is having a rough time learning life lessons or if he is in real trouble.  Like many parents, she struggles with wondering how worried she should be. Anna anguishes as Stan throws a diving meet, quits school, becomes homeless, and takes refuge in his blog postings.

The mission of both the event and the film is to inspire empathy for individuals with mental illness and their families, to explore the complexities of personal responsibility, to demonstrate how crisis intervention can prevent tragedy, and to foster community discussions of mental illness and its stigmas.  “A key discussion point is how do you, as a parent or other caring individual, know when and how to act,” said Rapaport.

The Ludington Area Center for the Arts is located at 107 S. Harrison St. in downtown Ludington.  For more information on this free event, please contact Roger Rapoport at [email protected] or call (231) 720-0930.

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