Wilderness

Struggling towards uncertainty: A single mother’s lonely struggle coping with the realities of her son’s refusal of treatment for schizophrenia.

When Linda Michaels wakes to find her teenaged son, Kevin, has left home in the middle of the night, she begins the all-too-familiar search for him in the gritty downtown streets of the city. Kevin refuses treatment for schizophrenia, causing him to become more and more erratic and paranoid. Linda visits the mental health clinic, but privacy laws prevent her from learning about Kevin’s medical status. Frustrated and helpless, she walks the streets and alleys in a desperate attempt to find him, only to see first hand, the homelessness and addiction that may well be in Kevin’s future. When the men’s shelter director locates Kevin crouching under a bridge, Linda’s hopes soar, only to discover that Kevin’s psychosis has escalated. Fearful of police involvement and possibly jail, Linda hesitantly leaves Kevin under Bill’s watch. Linda, left alone with her thoughts and fears, must face the reality that ultimately, she has no control over her son’s uncertain future.

Wilderness, is about the enormous suffering experienced by those who stand alongside the people they love struggling with severe mental illness.