Participants wrote down affirmations as part of the 'I am more than my mental illness' documentary which will screen today in Gladstone Cinemas.
Participants wrote down affirmations as part of the 'I am more than my mental illness' documentary which will screen today in Gladstone Cinemas.

Locals set out to help break a stigma

WITH a shared passion to break the stigma around mental health, participants and staff at Bridges Health and Community Care's The Haven have worked to deliver a documentary to help do just that.

Today, on World Mental Health Day, the documentary I am more than my mental illness, will screen at Gladstone Cinemas to share an important message.

Bridges CQ team leader Shannara Emmerton said the documentary was "uplifting, heartwarming and at times heartbreaking".

"(The participants) wanted to break the stigma of mental health," Mrs Emmerton said.

"They wanted to make sure the community knew that they weren't just a person with (a mental health concern)."

"They were someone who was a mother, a daughter, a sister. Someone who is an amazing artist or someone who takes fantastic photographs."

"We tried to come up with a way that would best showcase how (Bridges) works with people who have mental health concerns within the Central Queensland community."

The documentary features participants' stories, artwork, photography, music and social activities.

Mrs Emmerton said World Mental Health Day, held during Mental Health Week, was a chance to "celebrate our differences, our mental wellbeing and our mental health".

"It's a great day to take time out and be able to watch a movie and understand what (services in) the Gladstone Region are trying to do to help people with mental health concerns," she said.

The documentary was a collaborative effort between The Haven and Mind Australia's Gladstone Step-Up Step-Down unit. It was directed and produced by Ian Westley from Blue Eagle Productions.

Mrs Emmerton said the documentary was aimed at everyone.

"Everybody can experience mental health concerns and it's knowing how and who to reach out to in a time of need."

Artist Tracey Smith said the documentary was "really uplifting".

"I think everything they wanted it to achieve, it will achieve," Mrs Smith said.

I am more than my mental illness will screen at 11am today at Gladstone Cinemas before the 11.30am screening of The Road Within.



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