By COLlive reporter
Photos: John Zimmerman
Emotions were front and center as an audience of over 250 gathered in the Maxwell Cumming Auditorium at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to break the stigma of addiction and watch the documentary film “32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide.”
Thirteen staff members from Chabad Lifeline, a non-sectarian agency helping everyone affected by addiction, were in attendance at the film screening, where it was announced that the organization would be sending youth counselors on a weekly basis into Royal West Academy and five alternative schools across Montreal to provide one-on-one counseling to students affected by addiction.
Rabbi Benyamin Bresinger, Director of Chabad Lifeline, joined Producer Beth Levison and Director Ruth Litoff to address questions following the film, with Litoff speaking about the complexities of mental health and her own constant struggle with addiction.
“We chose to screen this heartbreaking and honest yet uplifting film because of the rawness in its portrayal of the link between addiction and mental health and how it affects the family,” Benyamin Bresinger said.
The evening concluded with a dessert reception where members of the audience were able to speak to Levison, Litoff, and Chabad Lifeline staff.
The film screening was part of the Au Contraire Film Festival and benefited Chabad Lifeline, who organized the evening.
Chabad Lifeline is a non-sectarian agency dedicated to helping everyone affected by addiction, offering a full range of treatment options and comprehensive youth at-risk programs. People suffering from substance and behavioral addictions and their family members are guided through the process of healing and recovery. Their services are immediate and free to those in need, supported by generous donations.
Their team of social workers, counselors, and peers help forge the lifeline relationships that clients need to keep their lives on track and preventing today’s at-risk youth from becoming tomorrow’s addict.