Mental health movie preview, panel discussion

Even as more and more communities offer outstanding mental health resources, caregivers struggle to persuade those in need to take advantage of an open path to wellness.


The 2019 feature film, Coming Up For Air, a project of the Heartland Independent Film Forum based in Muskegon, Michigan, is a unique opportunity to reach those who can benefit today from readily available treatment.

The film focuses on the impact of mental health on families as told through the story of a young college student who is also a competitive diver.

The film is set for national theatrical release in the fall of 2019.

North Country Community Mental Health, along with local partners, is bringing a preview of this film along with a panel discussion of local resources to Boyne Mountain at 6 p.m. on Wednesday May 8.

Community partners include the Petoskey Harbor Springs Community Foundation, Kiersten’s Ride, Char-Em ISD, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and Boyne Mountain, which is hosting the event.

This ninety-minute Coming Up For Air preview event will include four preview scenes from the film plus an introduction from the producer co-screenwriter.
Following a presentation by the film’s production team, community mental health experts detail the readily available services that can prevent tragedy and give hope to families everywhere.

The mission of the film is to inspire empathy for individuals and their families, explore the complexities of personal responsibility, demonstrate how crisis intervention can prevent tragedy and foster community discussion of mental health and its stigmas.

At a time when mental health services are better and better, the need for those services has never been higher.

Lorraine Manary, one of the North Country Community Mental Health event organizers, said, “It is our goal that at the end of this event audience members will know where to go to get the help they need for family, friends and colleagues. The fact is, more than 80 percent of those who seek mental health care report positive results.”

Lisa Williams, executive director of West Michigan CMH System, had this to say about a similar event recently held in Ludington:

“The Coming Up for Air preview and community dialog provided a beautiful starting point for a compassionate discussion about the impact of mental health and mental illness on families, caregivers, and loved ones. Through movie clips, we were able to, without judgment, talk honestly and empathically together about the feelings parents, friends and siblings may have regarding the seemingly inexplicable behavior of the person they know and love who is coping with a mental illness.  We discussed what is reasonable helping behavior that doesn’t dehumanize or threaten the dignity of the person who is struggling with their recovery but that also honors the fears and frustrations of the caregiver who wants to communicate their love and desire to help.”

Free and open to the public, this event will combine a relatable film, local mental health experts, and caregivers in a town hall setting.

This program assumes that caregivers need a hand to help persuade family members to seek out treatment.

It focuses uniquely on the impact of the mentally ill on family members.

North Country Community Mental Health provides services to residents of Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, Kalkaska and Otsego Counties experiencing a serious mental illness, severe emotional problem, or intellectual/developmental disability, including individuals with co-occurring substance use disorder.

Persons wishing to know more about the agency are encouraged to visit or to access services call the Access Center at 1-877-470-7130.


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