‘Reel Minds’ shines light on Alzheimer’s, depression, parental suicide at May 20 film festival

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The National Alliance on Mental Illness Miami-Dade has just announced what the featured films will address this year, during the 3rd Annual “Reel Minds” Miami Mental Health Film Festival, May 20.

NAMI hosts this annual film festival to advocate for greater understanding of mental illness and raise funding for its various programs and support services in the community.

The free annual event takes place at University of Miami’s Donna E. Shalala Student Center Grand Ballroom beginning at 6 p.m., with film showings at 7 p.m.

Topics to be featured this year deal with Alzheimers; the overuse of social media; anxiety, depression, and autism discussed from the view of a grandfather who is also a caregiver.

According to NAMI Miami-Dade President Kathryn Coppola, one very important film will deal with opioid addiction, and so there will be two presenters: One will present a personal history of recovery and a judge who works with the population will address the myriad related issues.

“We are also presenting a new film addressing the difficulties children and families have to face after a parent’s suicide. The filmmaker will be present and will discuss his own experience.” The films will be subtitled in Spanish and we will have hearing impaired services.

“Film is a compelling storytelling form that connects with our deepest sensibilities,” she added. “That’s why for the third consecutive year, we are showcasing a curated list of short films inspired by the lives of those who have been affected by mental illness.” The narratives that will be featured will reflect a range of life experiences meant to inspire, heal, and empower.

Mental Illness affects one in five people, yet she says many people do not understand how it may affect them, their families, friends, and co-workers. “We need to start a conversation about mental health and the Reel Minds Film Festival helps us to do just that,” said Coppola.

Live music by the band “Fog Dog” will be performed during the opening reception. The event is cosponsored by the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences.

The program also features an awards presentation honoring two local leaders who have contributed greatly to awareness and mental health services in the Miami community.

Judge Steven Leifman, Associate Administrative Judge for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, will receive the NAMI Miami Dade Mental Health Advocate of the Year Award.

John Dow, has been President and CEO of South Florida Behavioral Health Network since 2005 will receive the NAMI Miami Dade Lifetime Achievement Award.

NAMI Miami-Dade is the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the largest grassroots mental health organization in the U.S.

Tickets are FREE, Parking is free, and doors open at 6 p.m. with complimentary light hors d’oeuvres, non-alcoholic beverages, and live music. Films begin at 7 p.m. A sign-language interpreter will be onsite. Sponsorships are still available.

For information, call 305-665-2540, visit https://namimiami.org/, or send an email to NAMIMiami@gmail.com. To register for free tickets, visit https://reelminds.eventbrite.com or visit https://namimiami.org/.

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About the Author

Bill Kress
Bill Kress, President of Kress Communications, is an editorial consultant with the Community Newspapers, covering business news, non-profits, and municipal government. He is an award-winning public relations practitioner, news reporter, photographer, and a prolific social mediologist. Reach Bill at info@kresscom.com or call 305-763-2429.

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