Organisations are helping to break the stigma of mental health with a short film series about the struggles our youth are facing.
Youth organisation The Y WA, formally called the YMCA, launched an award-winning short film series called Inside Our Minds during Mental Health Week in October this year, about mental health and the struggles of our youth.
The short films, supported by Mineral Resources (MinRes) since 2021, was played throughout the week at the Northbridge Piazza, in Yagan Square, and across the Curtin University Campus.
“The voices of our youth are driving change, and The Y WA provides an inclusive platform to amplify their stories, with the goal to let other youth know that they are not alone and there is help if needed,” The Y WA CEO Dr Tim McDonald said.
Over the last four years, the themes for Inside Our Minds have included culturally and linguistically diverse young people, Indigenous mental health and LGBTQIA+ young people.
“Inside Our Minds allows young people to see and hear the raw, honest stories of their peers offering a connection, and, in turn, gives them the confidence to speak up about their own mental health,” Dr McDonald said.
“Giving them this voice offers them power in a world they will inherit.”
Inside Our Minds screened at the Northbridge Piazza, in Yagan Square, and across the Curtin University Campus.
MinRes Psychologist and Head of Mental Health Chris Harris said MinRes recognised the importance of partnering with organisations such as The Y WA to encourage open conversations and breakdown the stigma surrounding mental health.
“At MinRes we know that mental health is just as important as physical health and we have introduced a range of programs to encourage a workplace culture where mental health is spoken about openly and support is easily accessible.
“We’re proud to join forces with organisations like The Y WA to encourage open conversations about mental health in the wider community and provide vital resources to Western Australians in need.”
Inside Our Minds was started by a young person at The Y WA, Martin Johnson, who now works for MinRes but remains an integral volunteer working on the project.
Reflecting on why he started the video series five years ago Mr Johnson said, “I wanted to help young people with their mental health issues since in my early 20s I struggled quite hard to open up about challenges with my own mental health.
Behind the scenes with Martin Johnson who started the Inside Our Minds video series.
“I wanted people to understand that physical health is just like mental health regarding how you manage. I want these inspiring videos to draw attention to the different types of medications and variety of support systems available. Looking out for other people is important.”
One of the youth participants from the 2021 video series, Midaiah Harnett, reflected on her struggles and shares her experience with the mental health system.
“We talk a lot about anxiety and depression, but we don’t talk about the more complex situations. We don’t destigmatise medication as much as we should,” she said.
“As someone who is diagnosed with bipolar, I get a different reaction to when I was diagnosed with depression. But I think a lot of these more complex mental health disorders are still seen as really scary to a lot of people.”
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