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Film comp aims to dispel mental health myths

Aug 14th, 2012 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

WHEN Ruth Jackson was diagnosed with a mental illness, all the negative beliefs she had about the mentally ill were suddenly turned inwards.

It is this cycle of internalized shame and society-wide discrimination that Ms Jackson now spends her days fighting against.

“For me, I was 21 when I first got a mental illness, and so suddenly all those ideas and negative beliefs I had about people with mental illness were turned on me, because now I was one of ‘those people’.

“There’s quite a lot of shame and stigma that people feel, and it takes quite a lot of work to get through that.”

Her latest project, the Like Minds film competition, is directed at those who know someone experiencing a mental illness.

The aim, she says, is to demonstrate how important it is to be there and stay involved in the lives of those experiencing mental illness.

“We hope to change people’s attitudes and behaviour, so that people who might’ve hung back or not been supportive in the past now have some tools and ways they know they can help and support someone.”

Participants are encouraged to create a short film up to two minutes long, which promotes the “Be there. Stay involved” message.

The competition will this year include a te reo section, which will be judged by Te Kowhao, a chapter of Porirua mental health service Te Roopu Pookai Taaniwhaniwha.

Te Kowhao’s Dale Mackey says although the whanau support message should come across in te reo entries, a proper understanding and use of te reo is just as important.

“We’re looking for the use of te reo Maori, plus to make sure that it is spoken well, plus to have fun at the same time.”

Prizes for each section include a $2000 Noel Leeming voucher, as well as variety of memorabilia from Weta Workshop.

The competition was last year won by Karl Madsen, whose film used a flurry of post-it notes to convey the competition’s message.

The inclusion of a te reo section allows the competition to expand upon its community-positive message, says Mr Madsen.

“It encourages film makers to explore storytelling that they might not have considered otherwise.”

Ruth Jackson says that in keeping with the anti self-stigma message, Kites Trust shows the films at local mental health care facilities.

‘The patients can see that they’re just as deserving of friendship and support as anyone else, and that it’s important to open up and let people support you,” she says.

Those who wish to enter the competition can download an entry form HERE>. Entries are due by Monday, August 27, 2012.

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