It was almost a year ago when I met one of the staff from Mind Australia. I was at a mural grand opening, launching a video premiere as part of a project called ReFrame (You can watch the video here). ReFrame was an art project run by the City of Rockingham, to help change the stigma around mental health in the community.
After the premiere, a guy approached me and told me that the video is exactly what he was after. At first, I thought he was a film scout looking for a new entry into a film festival or something, but as he went on he explained to me that he was from a mental health support service called Mind Australia. He had been looking for a type of video that gave a certain feeling and that, "This was it". I was taken back by how much the video had moved him and I was humbled to hear that he wanted a video just like it. So, I said, "When do you want to do it?" He laughed, "The only thing is we have to wait until our budget allows for it". So, without much thought, I gave him my card and didn't think much more of it, as these kind of things do happen often.
It was nine months later that I got a call and he said, "We are now ready to make some videos", and we got together to start brainstorming ideas. We decided to create two videos, one for each of Mind Australia's services in Western Australia. The first video features Veronica, who has lived experience of mental illness and joined Mind Australia to help others start their journey to recovery. The second video features Ashleigh, who is also a Mind Australia participant and is now using her journey to help others to get the help they need.
After locking in the filming dates, I was advised to be mindful of the sensitivity of the interview topics. I made an effort not to ask anything that might be triggering for Ashleigh or Veronica. However, I was surprised by how confident and open they were when we started chatting. They were both happy to share their stories and it really was a touching moment for me to hear their journey. It was really amazing to see how Mind's holistic approach to Mental Health is really changing the how mental health is seen and what recovery really means. It's not about becoming cured, it's about getting the tools and the support to learn how to live with it.
So, here they are! I really hope you enjoy these videos.
It was such an honour to be able to share Veronica and Ashleigh's stories and I hope that they will inspire others who are struggling with mental health.
I also want to thank Mind Australia for their partnership on this project. They are doing amazing work to help people with mental illness and it has been great to be able to bring their stories to life.
If you are suffering from mental health or need support, please reach out. There are many resources available to help you, and you don't have to go through this alone. Here are some mental health support lines that you can call:
Mental Health Emergency Response Line: 1300 555 788 (Metro) or 1800 676 822 (Peel) or 1800 552 002 (Country/Rurallink)
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Lifeline Crisis Text Service: Text: 0477 13 11 14
beyondblue: 1300 224 636
Suicide Call Back Service*: 1300 659 467
The Samaritans Crisis Line*: 116 123