Father-Daughter Story on Schizophrenia is Emotionally Powerful, Documentary Will Air on PBS Stations
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will screen the award-winning documentary, Unlisted: A Story of Schizophrenia, at its national convention in Washington, D.C. on July 2.
Unlisted is scheduled for release to PBS stations in October 2010, coinciding with Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW).
For many years, physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston was estranged from her father, Richard, a poet and novelist who struggled with schizophrenia and at times lived on the streets. Feeling helpless whenever he showed up at her door in psychotic states, she decided to become unlisted in the phone book.
Medical school taught Ruston about the science of mental illness, but not the actual experience of people living with it. She reached a turning point when her son started asking about his grandpa. Reconciliation followed—along with supportive housing and treatment for her father.
But Richard stopped taking his medicine and went missing. Reconciliation became a race for survival ending in tragedy
“My dad was a regular guy who wanted a career and family, but he was constantly stymied by his disordered thought process,” Ruston said. “With the film, I want to give viewers background on why getting mental health treatment is so difficult. It doesn’t have to be that way.”
“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. The 2010 NAMI Convention is a platform to heighten public interest.”
“We hope television critics and feature editors in the news media will take notice and seek more stories about individuals and families affected by serious mental illness. Beyond tragedy, there are many stories of hope and recovery.”
The 2010 NAMI Convention full schedule offers many symposia and workshops.
Ruston will present a short film, Crisis and Control, in a workshop on a new type of living will for people living with mental illness.
She will discuss “Confronting Anosognosia: How to Get Help to Those Who Don’t Know They’re Sick” in another workshop.
NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. NAMI has over 1100 state and local affiliates that engage in research, education, support and advocacy.
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