Mental Health Awareness
WAYout works with some very vulnerable young people and we are aware of a need for a greater understanding of mental health issues. We ran the first mental illness film competition and pitching forum back in November 2013. This was a pioneering project for Sierra Leone and many street youth had never heard the words mental and illness together. Two of the films made were in the Opun Yu Yi Human Rights Film Festival and one, ‘My Side‘, won best documentary prize and was shown at the Mental health conference organised by The Mental Health Commission.
Since then we assisted in the shooting of King’s College London’s four short films about mental health, made a short film about Martin Sinesie, a mental health nurse from Bonthe and we run regular workshops to raise awareness and tackle stigma.
Sometimes WAYout members have serious mental health problems but cannot afford treatment or treatment is not available. One member found himself chained up in a church hospital and on his release recorded “Psycho Yard” about the experience.
There were two winners- Catherine Kadie Musa-Kormayea for her short ‘I am bi-polar’ and Steven Tommy for his documentary ‘Raw’ about long term drug addiction. The winners received 500,000 leones (£75) and the chance to make their films.