Mental health group to screen film on childhood emotions

Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published August 24, 2016

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BEVERLY HILLS — For families looking to address mental health and communications issues with children in a fun, nonthreatening way, a local mental health service provider will screen the 2015 Pixar film “Inside Out” as a means to start the conversation.

Kadima, a mental health service provider,  was formed 32 years ago by families within the Jewish community. The organization has since grown to become a nondenominational group that works to address a wide range of mental health issues through clinical assistance and increasing awareness.

“Inside Out” tells the story of an 11-year-old girl trying to cope with her family’s move to a new city, while five prominent emotions conflict inside her. Kadima said the film offers an opportunity for parents to help their children understand and better express their emotions.

“Families benefit from any fun time they spend together,” said Jean Nemenzik, Kadima’s director of clinical services. “The subject matter of knowing your feelings and communicating them is one of life’s great lessons. Anything that makes it easier for families to communicate is a good thing. I get a lot of calls from parents who are worried their kids suffer from anxiety, and I’m glad we’re aiming programs like this one to address those concerns.”

The screening is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, at Beverly Park in Beverly Hills. Additional activities will begin prior to the film at 6 p.m.

“We will have a resource area with eight local groups offering information about mental health services,” said Anne Perry, Kadima’s outreach and special events manager. “We’ll also have art booths where kids can express themselves, and some purely fun activities such as a bounce house, face painting and food trucks.”

Kadima also hosts a Healthy Body, Healthy Mind presentation each year for families, participates in and hosts conferences to discuss mental health issues, and organizes comedy shows to engage people.

“The goal of all of our events like this is to chip away at the stigma around mental illness and show how much of it is treatable,” explained Nemenzik. “I think people understand these are complicated issues, and processing emotions doesn’t happen organically for all people.”

Kadima screened the film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” last year in a similar fashion to help provide opportunities to discuss mental health. There are no other movie presentations planned by the group, but group leaders would like to make such events a regular occurrence.

“Our executive director, Eric Adelman, had the idea to screen this movie as a way to reach out to families, and we thought it would be a great idea,” said Perry. “I hope this event starts conversations where people can talk about their feelings with kids and assist them in finding help if they are having difficulty.”