Movies 4 Mental Health opens the discussion about common mental health struggles through an interactive film workshop that includes student-made films, discussion and a panel with various on and off-campus services.
According to USC Health Promotions Coordinator Maher Alazzam, the USC has contracted with Art with Impact, an organization that works with schools and corporations to create workshops and films related to mental health to put on this workshop, in order to help increase dialogue about mental health and shift the perspective toward a more open and safer environment.
After showing some student-made films about mental health, there will be an hour or so of discussion and a “panel that's comprised of community support services, campus support services, students,” says Alazzam.
In addition to discussing anxiety, depression and eating disorders, the workshop will also explore how these struggles interact with academics and off-campus issues, such as family life.
“I feel like people are talking more about mental health and it's becoming less taboo, but there's still a lot of work to be done,” says Alazzam. He explains by having a film-centric format for the workshop more people are likely to be able to understand the issues discussed and align with them.
Alazzam says the event is tailored to appeal to everyone, from an MIT student interested in film to a student dealing with the represented struggles who would like to get involved in the discussion.
While the event has been going on for six or seven years on other campuses according to Alazzam, this is only the second year it has come to Western. He is hopeful that having more advertising this time around will help the event be more successful.
Mental health services’ information booths will be present at the event for students interested in volunteering.