Film for Mental Health / by Sian Parker

Film for Mental Health

I would love for A Film Club to host film screenings across the UK, with the aim to raise awareness for mental illness and funds for mental health charities. Here's why...

As I've grown up, mental health and illness is something I have become increasingly more aware of. Whether that be through discussions online, Samaritans adverts on the back of train ticket stubs, or sadly through related passings of high profile individuals on the news.

I'm no stranger to mental illness. The first time I was aware of my own mental state was when I was eleven and gearing up to progress onto Secondary School. I've experienced rough patches, multiple diagnoses and CBT treatments since, but it wasn't until I turned twenty-three that I was diagnosed with depression and social anxiety. I am grateful to say that navigating my brain has been a lot easier since.

Something I was passionate about before, during, and even more so after going through my most recent depressive period, prior to diagnosis, is the world of cinema. Whilst depression has greatly tampered with my ability to concentrate, film is still something I strive to settle down and watch - even if it means taking breaks in between sometimes... But, why is this?
 

Film for Mental Health

I never fully appreciated the notion of film as a means of escapism, until I experienced films that left me wandering out of screenings in a daze before remembering where I was, or until I was able to shut my mind off for a bit just by delving into someone else's. And I know I am not the only one who finds great comfort in watching movies, and TV programmes too, because of the very same reasons.

It's not just that, though. Film can also reinvigorate your senses and spark a contagious driving energy, or open your eyes to something new. It can broaden ideas and even futures; in fact, it was watching my favourite movie that led to me studying Film as a subject at sixth form and then at degree level. It even led to me finding a hobby I love - which was starting this very club.

As I've always been someone who sees film as an incredibly powerful educational tool, and knowing the impact it can have on mental health - even if it's just providing a break for an hour and a half - it makes sense to couple the two together. With this in mind, I believe it would be amazing to host screenings of fun, uplifting family films across the UK, not only to provide the chance to spend a couple of hours getting lost in another world, but to raise awareness for mental illness and funds for related mental health charities too.

If you have any ideas or think you could assist in getting Film for Mental Health off of the ground, drop us a line at afilmclub@hotmail[.]com or, if it will fit into 140 characters, reply to the tweet below. Thank you!

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON 30/07/2017

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