The Mental Health Working Group of the First Parish Church of Groton, Unitarian Universalist, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness of North Central Massachusetts invite the public to a free showing of the PBS television program, “Minds on the Edge” in the church vestry on Friday, May 7, at 7 p.m.

Since 1949, Americans have observed Mental Health Month in May with events and activities in communities across the country. The theme for Mental Health Month this year is “Get Connected” to emphasize the important role of social relationships in protecting and improving mental health and building resilience. Progress in the fight against mental illness requires community action, understanding, and teamwork. Recovery is possible because of scientific research and better community supports, but significant barriers still exist. Services are at risk, insurance can be insufficient, and stigma is still prevalent.

“Minds on the Edge” is a one-hour program produced for PBS by the Fred Friendly Seminars, using their signature format of hypothetical scenarios. The cases explored are those of a female college student who develops mental illness while at school, and an adult male bouncing between homelessness and jail, struggling to obtain treatment. Moderator Frank Sesno asks the program panelists to put themselves in the shoes of these hypothetical characters, and talk about what they would do in their situations. The distinguished panel includes U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Nobel Prize winning neurologist Eric Kandel, along with attorneys, doctors, legislators and other experts in the field. Several of the panelists have personal, as well as professional experience, in living with mental illness.

First Parish Church of Groton is located at the intersection of Route 40 and Route 119 in Groton. Refreshments will be served after the showing, and the public is cordially invited to attend.