(Riley County, KS – July 20, 2023) Riley County Health Department is hosting two additional free screenings of the documentary film "The First Day: A Focus on the Beginning." Following the success of the first screening, which drew 25 attendees, the health department is excited to invite a larger audience to AMC Theaters in Manhattan on Tuesday, July 25 at 6:00 p.m. and Tuesday, August 1 at 6:00 p.m. These events aim to educate and engage community members in an important conversation about substance use prevention. The film is appropriate for audiences in middle school and older.
"The First Day: A Focus on the Beginning" is a 45-minute film that sheds light on the journey of Chris Herren, a former professional basketball player who became addicted to drugs. Herren's story of recovery has inspired over a million people nationwide. In this documentary, Herren shares his vulnerability, highlighting profound connections with high school students who, in turn, courageously share their own stories of struggle and strength. By using the power of storytelling, "The First Day" addresses critical issues such as substance use, harmful behaviors, and mental wellness that impact school systems, communities, and individuals across the country on a daily basis.
The film screenings will be followed by a brief discussion facilitated by staff from Pawnee Mental Health and Riley County Health Department. Attendees are encouraged to stay and participate, as the discussion provides an opportunity to deepen understanding and explore strategies for substance use prevention.
"We believe that open communication is crucial when it comes to discussing the dangers of drug use," said Asia Sampson, Community Health Educator for the Riley County Health Department. "By engaging in conversations with our children and loved ones, we can be the authoritative figures in their lives, ensuring they receive the information they need to make good decisions."
Julie Gibbs, Director of the Riley County Health Department, added, "This film offers a profound emotional experience that challenges preconceived notions about vulnerability and addiction. By coming together as a community and supporting one another, we have the power to change the course of someone's life. I strongly encourage parents, young adults, teachers, and community members to join us for these free film screenings."
The screenings are part of Riley County's ongoing efforts to share information about the dangers of opioid use directly with youth, educators, parents, and community members. These events are made possible through the generous support of the Riley County Health Department and the CDC Overdose to Data Action Grant
To watch the trailer and learn more about "The First Day: A Focus on the Beginning," please visit the official website at https://thefirstdayfilm.com/.
For organizations in Riley, Geary, or Pottawatomie Counties interested in requesting an informational presentation about the dangers of fentanyl and opioid use, please contact Asia Sampson at the Riley County Health Department: (785) 776-4779 ext. 7645.