CHILLICOTHE – New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Dallas … and now Chillicothe.
In recognition of May as Mental Health Awareness Month, the National Alliance on Mental Illness Southern Ohio has organized an exclusive screening of the award-winning independent film “The Valley” for Friday, June 1 at 7:30 p.m. at Chillicothe’s historic Majestic Theatre.
“The film’s director, Saila Kariat, contacted NAMI Southern Ohio several weeks back and offered us an opportunity to show this powerful film,” said Lance Cranmer, NAMI Southern Ohio’s executive director. “Being an independent film, she was only able to release the film nationwide in 14 major cities. But we felt like its message is just as important in our communities. So we can now add southern Ohio to that list.”
“The Valley is designed as a suicide deterrence film,” said first-time filmmaker Kariat, via e-mail. “Unlike other popular media dealing with themes of suicide, The Valley powerfully unpacks this challenging and often triggering subject without glamorizing suicide or providing instructional content. Rather, it focuses on our misplaced values, how depression or anxiety often goes unnoticed or untreated, and the catastrophic effect of suicide on family and friends.”
Since its international release, “The Valley” has been chosen for 23 film festivals around the world, garnering 19 award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress.
“About 43.8 million Americans experience some form of mental illness each year,” said Cranmer. “It is not just an issue that affects big cities. It impacts us just as heavily here in southern Ohio.”
“I would like to stimulate conversation and thought on this important topic, especially among young adults, as discussing suicide is one of the most effective means of preventing it,” added Kariat.
Charitable donations from Adena Health System, the Paint Valley ADAMH board and others allowed for this event to take place. All ticket sales will benefit NAMI Southern Ohio and help the nonprofit organization expand its mental health services in the five counties it serves – Fayette, Highland, Pickaway, Pike and Ross.
Tickets are $8 for general admission or $5 for NAMI members and can be purchased by contacting NAMI Southern Ohio at (740) 851-4242.