Award-Winning Documentary on Schizophrenia to Be Screened at 2005 American Psychiatric Association Meeting
Monday May 23, 11:30 am ET

'Out of the Shadow' Filmmaker to Discuss Her Mother's Illness and Barriers to Care

ATLANTA, May 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The award-winning documentary, Out of the Shadow, which illuminates the national plight of schizophrenia through one family's struggle, will be shown at a screening for 1000 mental health professionals at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Atlanta, Georgia. The event will take place on Monday, May 23, at 6:30 pm at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Centennial Ballroom I/II.

The film will be introduced by Dr. Michael Hogan, Chair of the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health and Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health. Following the film, acclaimed filmmaker Susan Smiley will participate in an 'up close and personal' question and answer session moderated by Dr. Ken Duckworth, Medical Director of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

The making of Out of the Shadow was a personal journey for director/producer Susan Smiley, whose mother, Millie, lives with schizophrenia. The film, an official selection at the Vancouver Film Festival and SILVERDOCS: the AFI/Discovery Channel Film Festival, offers a frank look at this complex disease, dispels stigma and misconceptions surrounding schizophrenia, and presents the challenges Smiley's family has faced while navigating the public health system.

"Creating Out of the Shadow has allowed me to translate my personal challenges living with a loved one with schizophrenia into advocacy," said Smiley. "The film demonstrates that schizophrenia can be effectively managed when patients receive comprehensive psychosocial services, including safe and stable housing, family support and access to the latest medications," said Smiley.

Schizophrenia is a serious brain disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels and acts. More than 2 million people in the United States live with schizophrenia.

"Out of the Shadow offers an honest portrayal of schizophrenia and the profound challenges family caregivers face when navigating the public health system on behalf of loved ones with this serious brain disorder," said Ken Duckworth, MD. "The film underscores the importance of access to quality care and is a call to action for mental health professionals and policymakers alike," he added.

The post-film discussion with Smiley and Dr. Duckworth will tackle issues including:

* Access - Ensuring that all people living with schizophrenia have access
to integrated services and the latest, most-effective medications;
* Disease Management - While there is no cure for schizophrenia - with
comprehensive treatment schizophrenia can be effectively managed -
allowing people with this illness to live fulfilling and productive
lives; and
* Understanding - Raising public awareness of schizophrenia and reducing
the stigma associated with this challenging and compelling disease.

The film screening is supported by Janssen Pharmaceutica Products, L.P.

Additional resources can be found at:
http://www.outoftheshadow.com
http://www.nami.org
http://www.mentalwellness.com