Stress and mental pressure are commonly faced at work. We spend most, if not, all our weekdays on the job. That's about 261 days out of the 365 in a year (*in 2018). Spending more than two-thirds in a year utilizing our brain cells to execute our skill sets can be taxing. And with added external factors, one may succumb to tension. Why not detach yourself from work by declaring a day off and head to The Projector to view mental health in another light?
Stigma from the public towards individuals with mental disorders such as Major Depressive Disorder, Alcohol Abuse, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder still lingers despite being a topic that most Singaporeans are familiar. The diagnosed continue to find it difficult to confess their burden with words, even to loved ones. So it's not entirely your fault if you hem and haw over the decision to confide in someone; blame it on pride.
“Having experienced various mental health issues, I recognise the difficulty in speaking about this condition that’s innate and personal. I envision a world where persons with disabilities of all sorts will be heard and seen without fearing judgement or discrimination”, said Cheryl Tan, festival director and founder of The Breathe Movement, the organisation behind the festival.
Thankfully the organisers—local social enterprise The Breathe Movement—at Singapore Mental Health Film Festival employ motion picture as a medium to tackle negative attitudes and raise awareness of the much-maligned emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Running through 21-24 February 2019, the festival will feature 11 different Asian and Western films, highlighting different mental health issues, such as dementia, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and more.
An acclaimed 2014 film starring Academy Award winner Julianne Moore, bagging home the 'Best Actress' award for her role in this heartbreaking movie.
Much Too Young
A Canadian documentary that focuses on an untold story of young caregivers to those with Alzheimer's.
No Letting Go
The opening film for the festival sees the struggles of a young teenager with the debilitating mental illness as his mom risks everything to save him without losing the rest of her family.
The Girl, the Mother and the Demons
A Swedish film puts a mother-daughter relationship to the test. Single-handedly raised 8-year-old Ti has to deal with her mother's rapidly switching moods and bizarre outbursts.
Malaysian filmmaker Tan Seng Kiat’s family drama portraits the young protagonist tackling urban poverty, a corrupt society, and his mother's psychological disorder.
Silence Is Not Golden
Singaporean director Wong Pei Si’s animated short film is based on a real-life story of the lead, Nigel, and spotlighting Selective Mutism, a rare anxiety disorder that affects one’s ability to speak in certain situations.
An award-winning Hong Kong drama film directed by Wong Chun stars Shaun Yue as a recovering bipolar patient who tries to regain his footing in the workplace and society, highlighting the disdain mental health patients must live with.
In addition, the festival has programmed in-depth panel sessions that gathers mental health professionals across various specializations from the Institute of Mental Health, The Community Health Assessment Team (CHAT), Singapore Association for Mental Health, and more, as well as moderators such as local media icon Anita Kapoor and Noorlinah Mohamed—a multi-award winning theatre actress—to discuss mental issues with the audience in an approachable manner.
You can also build up emotional resilience and distract negative thoughts with workshops featuring different modalities of mental health care such as body sculpturing, yoga, guided meditation and craft. Remember, your body is a temple and your mind is a shrine.
Singapore Mental Health Film Festival 2019 will be held from 21 to 24 February at The Projector. Tickets are $18 per film and more information is available at the festival's website.