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First Break

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First Break: the first episode of mental illness in a person's life. For most people diagnosed with a mental illness, their first episode occurs in the late teens or early twenties. It can be a terrifying, disorienting experience.

For the making of First Break, three young adults and their families courageously come forward and illuminate, with compelling candour, their personal experiences. Over a one-year period, Simon, Ariadne and Shely allow us to share in the ongoing challenge of living with a diagnosis of mental illness and its impact on their self-identities, and family relationships. As a result, we are provided with a valuable perspective on the hopes, frustrations, and achievements of three young adults whose lives have been dramatically changed by a first break.

Engaging, honest and compassionate, the film dispels the myths and questions the stigmas attached to mental illness, while offering a human portrait of coping.

1997, 50 min 55 s

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Honorable Mention
Itinerant - National Council on Family Relations
November 12 to 17 1998, Minneapolis - USA

Bronze Plaque Award - Category: Health and Medicine
International Film and Video Festival
October 19 to 22 1998, Columbus - USA

Special Jury Mention
International Festival Cine-video Psy
June 10 to 12 1998, Lorquin - France

Bronze Award
Itinerant - HESCA Film Festival
June 1 1998, Portland - USA

Special Jury Award
Yorkton Film Festival
May 21 to 25 1998, Yorkton - Canada