September 18, 2019

2019 Mental Health Film Festival: Wednesday, Oct. 23, in Columbia

One evening.
Four films.
Hundreds of community members who care about mental health.

Join the Horizon Foundation for the 2019 Mental Health Film Festival, an event to build awareness and compassion for members of our community living with mental health challenges. Attend one of four film screenings, each followed by a time for attendees to reflect, ask questions and connect with others.

Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019
6-9 p.m.
Regal UA Snowden Square Theater
9161 Commerce Center Dr., Columbia, MD 21046

This event is FREE. Registration is required. Because each film will run at the same time and space is limited, please register for ONLY ONE film. Please help us make sure everyone has a chance to attend this event by only registering for one film.

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2019 Mental Health Film Festival Selections & Speakers

Each film will be followed by a time for reflection, questions and discussion with local experts such as psychiatrists, crisis counselors, social workers, youth, school system staff and people sharing their own experiences and journeys with mental health.


Dana and Hart Perry share the intensely personal story of their son Evan, who from a young age had intense mood swings and often talked about ending his life. Step into the shoes of this family as they share their experience with Evan’s bipolar disorder and eventual suicide with home videos and interviews with relatives, friends, doctors and teachers. As professional filmmakers, the Perrys made extensive personal films and videos of the family, but never suspected that their footage of Evan – taken from the moment of his birth throughout childhood and adolescence – would end up becoming the primary source material for this moving account of living with a serious mental illness.

  • Dr. Jeff Bostic, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, MedStar
  • Dr. Lisa Cooper-Lucas, Psychologist, American Substance Abuse Professionals
  • Dr. Sharon Hoover, Child and Adolescent Psychologist, University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • Jeanne Schaeberle, Mother and Mental Health Advocate


Having a baby is supposed to be the happiest time of your life. But what if it’s not? Each year, 1.3 million women in the U.S. struggle to find support and treatment for postpartum depression and other perinatal mood disorders. Two women, Jennifer Silliman and Maureen Fura, both with firsthand knowledge of this challenge, came together to give a face and a voice to the countless women who suffer in silence. With the help of Dr. Shoshana Bennett, they produced a documentary film, uncovering disconnects within the medical community to effectively screen, refer and treat these women.

  • Dr. Lisa Loury Lomas, Mental Health Care Consultant and Clinical Counselor
  • Debbie Meyer, NAMI Howard County Board Member
  • Quiana Wade, Mother and Mental Health Advocate
  • Anne Waller, Clinician, Postpartum Family Services
  • Aggie Wojdon, Mother and Mental Health Advocate


**Note: Due to popular demand, more seats are now available for this film

Driven by a desire to understand why her best friend died by suicide at 16, Jacqueline Monetta asks teens to share their struggles with mental illness and suicide attempts. Through her intimate teen-to-teen conversations, Jacqueline, and the audience learn about depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicide attempts, getting help and treating mental illness. Each teen paints a vivid picture of the depths of despair he/she suffered and how talking about it saved them. They assure the audience that mental illnesses, like physical illnesses, can and should be treated.

  • Alpha Achievers 
  • Tara DeCapite, Mental Health Advocate and Assembly Coordinator, Ed Lally Foundation
  • Amanda Ganoe, Clinician, Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center
  • Kami Wagner, Student Support Programs Coordinator, Howard County Public School System


This film tells the story of 10 U.S. veterans who come together in hopes of battling their traumatic military pasts through the art of written word. Grappling with PTSD, the “warrior poets” share fears, vulnerabilities and victories that eventually culminate into a live performance of a collaborative poem under the direction of actor Jeffrey Wright. In the process of creating their poetry and rehearsing for the performance, these individuals build a new-found tribe in one another, allowing them to share hidden truths about their intimacy with war, death and trauma. Note: this screening will be followed by a short workshop with participants in the Community Building Art Works program featured in the film.

  • Joe Merritt, Veteran, Community Building Art Works
  • Ashlyn McNeely, Veteran and NAMI Representative
  • Seema Reza, Executive Director, Community Building Art Works
  • Lisa Terry, Manager, Howard County Office of Veterans and Military Families
  • Jen Vaughn, Veteran, Community Building Art Works

Note: Films can include strong language and discussions of intense themes (substance use, abuse, war, suicide, etc.). These films reflect real life experiences, and so viewers are advised to review the film content, watch the movie trailers and use their discretion in making ticket choices.

Because each film will run at the same time and space is limited, please register for ONLY ONE film. Any attendees registered for more than one film may have their tickets cancelled. Please help us make sure everyone has a chance to attend this event by only registering for one film.

Please note: There will be filming and photography at this event. By attending, you agree to our Crowd Release/Notice of Filming and Photography.

THANK YOU to our mental health grantees for your partnership: Alpha Foundation of Howard County, A-OK Mentoring, Bet Chaverim Congregation, Bollman Bridge Elementary, Bonnie Branch Middle PTA, Bryant Woods Elementary, Building Families for Children Inc., Chinese American Parent Association of Howard County, Clarksville Middle School PTA, Clemens Crossing Elementary PTA, Community Action Council of Howard County, Conexiones Inc., Cradlerock Elementary School, Dunloggin Middle PTA, Equity4HC, Every Kid Can Cook, Fulton Elementary PTA, Hammond Elementary School PTA, Hammond Middle School PTA, Hanover Hills Elementary, HC DrugFree, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA, Howard County Autism Society, Howard County Office of Children and Families, Howard County Public School System, Howard High School, Laurel Woods Elementary School, Lisbon Elementary PTA, Manor Woods Elementary PTA, Marriotts Ridge High PTA, Maryland Coalition of Families, Mt. Hebron High PTA, Oakland Mills Middle PTA, Oakland Mills High PTA, Patuxent Valley Middle PTA, Pointers Run Elementary, Running Brook Elementary, Stevens Forest Elementary PTA, Thomas Viaduct PTA, Wilde Lake High PTA