May 1st to 7th this year is Mental Health Awareness Week in Canada. The Canadian Mental Health Association created Mental Health Week as an annual national event that takes place during the first week in May to encourage people from all walks of life to learn, talk, reflect and engage with others on all issues relating to mental health.
Mental Health and talking about it has been the focus of m & s Marshall Productions and IME Films for the last year. In the Summer of 2016 IME in association with m & s Marshall productions filmed the Independent short film Struggles Within told through dance, dealing with the issue of depression. The film is written and directed by Corrinne Wood. When asked about the film Wood had this to say “mental illness is something really near and dear to my heart, and this film is designed to show an audience who may not be struggling with a mental illness what kind of daily struggles really goes on inside the mind of someone struggling with depression.”
Then in the fall of 2016 m & s Marshall Productions in association with IME started filming of the short film Malicious Attack dealing with bullying and the effects that bullying has on people. Including the mental effects of bullying. The film’s director Matthew Marshall the co-owner of Marshall productions offered this “ Bullying can have a huge mental toll on a person. It really can effect a bullying victim mentally” Marshall says. One of the cast members of the short film Dina Jasim who is in the London Ontario Fanshawe-Western Nursing program to become a nurse has seen first hand in her training the mental effects of bullying on a person. “I have seen people around me struggle with the effects of bullying in their lives. It is because of that I had the desire to be part of this film. In a hope of helping bring a light to the issue of bullying.” Jasim plays the role of Linda an immigrant in the film who is verbally bullied by the films bully Savannah White (played by Elina Lattanzio). Jasim offers some insight into her character and what the bullying can do to a person. - “Words can hurt deeper than we think. They get into our bodies like a disease, slowly affect our brains and hearts” says Jasim. She goes on to reflect about the character of Linda. “Words sometimes cut deeper than a knife, and can stay in one’s mind forever. Linda feels like this world is too small for her, she feels like she is a crowded room feeling lonely. She is living with toxic thoughts, fighting inside of her brain because of words that have been said to her. She is mentally overwhelmed and sick on the inside. All the while she is hiding it from people around her while living with it. Losing her hope and herself esteem,” says Jasim.
At it’s heart that is what Mental Health Week is about. Getting people to talk about the issue. Not only those that are suffering with mental health issues but also other people to open up and learn about what others are suffering with. To get those people to listen to those that are suffering and for those suffering to find someone they trust enough to open up about what they are dealing with. This year’s theme is #GETLOUD.
The cast and crew of both Malicious Attack and Struggles Within embrace that theme and would like to all help start a discussion on the issues by bring it to the surface and get people to talk about various mental illness and things like Bullying that cause people to struggle with depression and self-esteem issues.
For more information on mental Health week visit www.mentalhealthweek.ca
For More information on the films go to IMDb.
Struggles Within – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5872970/combined
Malicious Attack – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6156436/combined