Talking Stone Film

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MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS
MONTH AND ALSO TIME FOR THE FOURTH ANNUAL REEL MINDS MIAMI
FILM FESTIVAL, JOINING ME IS KATHRYN COPPOLA AND SUSAN
RACHER. ONE OF THE ONLY ONES HAPPENING
IN THE COUNTRY, WHY IS IT SO UNIQUE WHY IS IT SO SPECIAL? A LOT OF THINGS THAT MAKE IT
UNIQUE. FIRST OF ALL IT’S IN MIAMI. MIAMI DOESN’T HAVE THIS IN ALL
OF FLORIDA. ONE OF THE THINGS IS IT’S FREE. THAT MAKES IT REALLY IMPORTANT
AND ANYONE CAN GET A FREE TICKET. OKAY. BESIDES FREE TICKET, WE HAVE
FREE FOOD. WE HAVE FREE LIVE MUSIC BY TWO
AMAZING GUYS WHO BOTH ARE LIVING IN RECOVERY FROM A MENTAL HEALTH
CHALLENGE AND THEY EVEN WRITE SONGS ABOUT THEIR MENTAL HEALTH
RECOVERY. WE ALSO HAVE FREE DOOR PRIZES. AND WE HAVE SIX FILMS. THEY’RE SHORT FILMS. AND AFTER EACH OF THE FILMS, WE
HAVE SOMEONE WITH A LITTLE EXPERIENCE WHO SPEAKS TO OR
ABOUT WHAT WE’VE JUST SEEN AS AN AUDIENCE. SO IF WE HAVE A FILM ABOUT OCD
WE’RE GOING TO HAVE SOMEONE TALK ABOUT OCD.
AND THEY ONLY TALK FIVE MINUTES. SO IT’S NOT A BIG SPEAKER
PRESENTATION BECAUSE THE FLIMTION ARE THE MAIN SUBJECT
MATTER. BUT — FILMS ARE THE MAIN
SUBJECT MATTER. EVERYONE HAS A LIVED EXPERIENCE. THEY KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE TO HAVE
EITHER OCD OR BE A SUICIDE SURVIVOR. THEY COULD BE BULLIED, THEY HAVE
A FAMILY MEMBER WHO HAS SCHIZOPHRENIA OR, IN A CASE
HERE, THE LOCAL MAN, MO HALL IS GOING TO TALK ABOUT HIS BEING
HOMELESS AND HOW A PROGRAM OVER AT MIAMI BEACH POLICE
DEPARTMENT, HE IS WORKING WITH THE POLICE DEPARTMENT TO HELP
OTHERS WITH HOMELESSNESS. WE WERE TALKING ABOUT EARLIER
THE FACT THAT AN ESTIMATED 1 IN 5 FOLKS WHETHER ADULTS OR
CHILDREN ARE STRUGGLING WITH SOME SORT OF MENTAL HEALTH
CONDITION. BUT THERE IS SO LITTLE AWARENESS
ABOUT THIS TOPIC, IS THAT WHAT YOU ARE SEEING HERE IN
MIAMI-DADE? ABSOLUTELY. AND WE ACTUALLY STARTED REEL
MINDS FOUR YEARS AGO TO INCREASE AWARENESS, TO REACH PEOPLE WHO
ORDINARILY WOULD NOT SEEK MENTAL HEALTH CARE OR MENTAL HEALTH
EDUCATION, BUT WHO WOULD GO TO A FILM FESTIVAL. AND THE FILMS ARE HIGHLY
EDUCATIONAL, THEY ARE ORIGINAL FILMS, PRODUCED GENERALLY BY
INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE A MESSAGE TO SHARE THROUGH FILM, GENERALLY
THEIR OWN LIVED EXPERIENCE. WE HAVE GENERALLY YOUNG FILM
MAKERS. AND THE MAGNITUDE AND SIZE OF
THE FILM FESTIVAL AND THE REACH IT HAS IN THE COMMUNITY, FROM
EVERY ZIP CODE, EVERY PART OF THE COUNTY AND BROWARD, IS
REALLY — IS PRETTY AWESOME. IT’S AN EDUCATIONAL EVENT. SO PEOPLE WILL LEAVE THE FILM
FESTIVAL KNOWING MUCH MORE ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH THAN THEY DID WHEN
THEY ARRIVED. AND THAT’S OUR GOAL. TELL ME ABOUT ONE OF YOUR
FAVORITE FILMS THAT WE WILL BE SEEING. THE FILMS THIS YEAR ARE THE
BEST THAT WE’VE EVER HAD. THEY’RE ALL ORIGINAL, ART FILMS,
NOT DOCUMENTARIES OR INSTRUCTION FILMS. MY FAVORITE IS A FILM CALLED
MISDIRECTION, ABOUT A YOUNG WOMAN, A YOUNG GAY WOMAN WHO HAS
OCD AND HER JOURNEY THROUGH THE SHORT FILM, AND THEY ARE ALL
SHORT FILMS, HER JOURNEY TO COMING TO TERMS AND FINDING AN
OUTLET FOR HER OCD. AND THEN THAT FILM WILL BE
FOLLOWED BY A BRIEF PRESENTATION BY DR. BARBARA COFFEE WHO IS
DIVISION CHIEF FOR CHILD PSYCHIATRY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
OF MIAMI MEDICAL SCHOOL EVER MEDICINE. SHE’LL TALK ABOUT OCD. WE HAVE A COMBINATION OF VERY
FUN AND ENTERTAINING, I DON’T WANT TO GIVE AWAY THE END OF THE
FILM, A VERY CUTE FILM WITH EDUCATIONAL CONTENT. SO TO ADDRESS THE STIGMA OF
MENTAL ILLNESS WHAT DO YOU HELP THE AUDIENCE WILL WALK AWAY, I
WAS TALKING ABOUT WHO WAS YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE IN ALL OF THIS? IF SOMEBODY LETS SAY PERHAPS
THEY DON’T HAVE A MENTAL HEALTH CONDITION, YOU REALLY, THIS IS
ABOUT EDUCATING EVERYONE, RIGHT? RIGHT. OUR GOAL IS SENSITIVITY AND
UNDERSTANDING. SO THERE ARE A LOT OF ISSUES
THAT WE TRY TO ADDRESS. ONE IS, THE COMMONALITY OF
MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS, THAT IT’S NOT RARE OR UNIQUE. TWO, THAT THERE’S HELP AND THAT
THERE ARE SOLUTIONS AND THAT RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE. SO TO FOLLOW ON KATHY’S COMMENT
ABOUT LIVED EXPERIENCE, WHEN A YOUNG ADULT COMES JUST AT THE
AUDIENCE AND TALKS ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCE IN COLLEGE AND THE
FACT THAT THEY LIVED WITH A DIAGNOSIS THAT WAS UNTREATED FOR
MANY YEARS, AND THEY SUFFERED, AND NOW THEY’RE BEING TREATED
AND THEY’RE OKAY, THAT’S A MESSAGE OF HOPE. AND OPTIMISM FOR
PEOPLE. SO WE WANT TO MAKE THAT MESSAGE. AND THEN WE WANT TO HELP PEOPLE
UNDERSTAND HOW TO ACCESS RESOURCES. SO YOU TALKED ABOUT HELP,
NAMI IS THE NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR MENTAL ILLNESS. YOU PROVIDE AN AMAZING SET OF
RESOURCES FOR THE COMMUNITY. SO TELL ME OUT THERE FOR FOLKS
WHO DON’T KNOW, PERHAPS THEY ARE SUFFERING FROM A MENTAL HEALTH
CONDITION OR A LOVED ONE IS. WHAT CAN YOU OFFER THEM AN WHERE
DO THEY GET THIS HELP? SURE. THEY CAN GO TO NAMIMIAMI.ORG. WE ARE THE LOCALITY MIAMI
AFFILIATE OF A NATIONAL ORGANIZATION. SO OUR ORGANIZATION HAS
AFFILIATES, THOUSANDS OF AFFILIATES THROUGHOUT UNITED
STATES. AND OUR PROGRAMS ARE CREATED AT
NAMI NATIONAL, IN VIRGINIA. AND ALL WE HAVE TO DO AS AN
AFFILIATE IS SPEAKING MANY TIMES IS JUST GO UP AND PICK THE
APPLE. WHICH PROGRAM CAN WE OFFER? DO WE HAVE THE CAPACITY? DO WE HAVE THE FUNDING? AND SO WE STARTED, AND SOME
PEOPLE SAY WE REBOOTED, ONLY FOUR YEARS AGO, WHEN WE FIRST
STARTED HAVING THE FILM FESTIVAL. SO SINCE THAT TIME WE HAVE
BROUGHT SUPPORT GROUPS FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE MENTAL HEALTH
CHALLENGES. WE HAVE SUPPORT GROUPS FOR
FAMILY MEMBERS USING THAT TERM BROADLY, FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND WE
HAVE SUPPORT GROUPS THROUGH THEM. AND WE HAVE EDUCATION PROGRAMS
FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES AND WE HAVE IT
FOR FAMILIES, WE HAVE IT IN SPANISH AND CREOLE, AROUND WE
FOUND NEW YOUTH PROGRAM, THAT’S THE THEME OF THIS YEAR’S FILM
FESTIVAL, ENDING THE SILENCE. WHERE THE MIAMI-DADE SCHOOL
SYSTEM OFFERED US TO COME INTO THE SCHOOLS AND SHARE THIS
PROGRAM. YOU SHARED WITH ME THAT SO
MANY PEOPLE DON’T HAVE HELP. WHY IS IT A PROBLEM IN SOUTH
FLORIDA? IT IS A HUGE PROBLEM AND
ESTIMATED NATIONALLY ABOUT HALF OF THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE A MENTAL
HEALTH CONDITION ARE TREATED. SO THAT MEANS THAT HALF ARE NOT. IN MIAMI-DADE THE NUMBERS ARE
MUCH WORSE. THERE ARE ESTIMATES OF ABOUT 24,
25% OF THOSE WITH A MENTAL HEALTH CONDITION RECEIVE
TREATMENT. AND THERE ARE SEVERAL REASONS. ONE IS THAT FLORIDA IS AT THE
VERY BOTTOM OF THE COUNTRY IN MENTAL HEALTH FUNDING. WE’RE NUMBER 49 OR 50. WE SPEND ABOUT $39 PERSON ON
MENTAL HEALTH FUNDING, STATES LIKE MINNESOTA SPEND ALMOST TEN
TIMES THAT AMOUNT. SO THAT’S — ACCESS IS A BIG
ISSUE. THERE’S A WAIT-LIST TO SEE
PSYCHIATRISTS, THERE’S A WAIT-LIST TO GET INTO SUBSTANCE
ABUSE TREATMENT. SO CULTURE FEAR AND STIGMA WHICH
IS WHAT REEL MINDS IS TRYING TO ADDRESS IN THOUGHT AND WHAT
ENDING THE SILENCE REALLY HITS BETWEEN THE EYES IN TERMS OF
ADDRESSING STIGMA AND FEAR. AND WHAT A GREAT ETHNIC USE
FILM AS A HEAL. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING
US. CAN YOU CHECK OUT THE REEL
MINDS FILM FESTIVAL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI’S SHELALAH
CENTER, THE CURTAIN GOES UP AT 2 P.M.

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