New community space to screen films on mental health ahead of Suicide Prevention Day

A screening of mental health awareness films will be accompanied by artists’ performances at new Walthamstow community space The Snug on Friday 8th September

A still from Be The Light, Credit: SK Shlomo

Prior to World Suicide Prevention Day, mental health stigma breaking charity Time to Talk Waltham Forest is launching a stigma-breaking event including the screening of What’s Going On In Your Head? Be The Light featuring artists’ performances and the premiere of Into The Woods by Dorota Chioma. 

The event will also feature performances from artists Shocka, SK Shlomo, Hyphen and The Castell Brothers. The event is free and will be at a new community space The Snug Walthamstow on Friday 8th September between 12pm-2pm.  

Time to Talk Waltham Forest has been running in the borough since 2018 to challenge the stigma and discrimination that exists with mental illness through training and thought-provoking local events.

Jon Salmon, who is a local mental health campaigner and runs Time to Talk Waltham Forest said: “I sadly lost my dad to suicide as a teenager and this severely impacted my own mental health a few years later. Time To Talk Waltham Forest was created to empower those of us who have a lived experience of mental illness and challenge the stigma through thought provoking events.

“I am really excited that we will be hosting this event at a new community space The Snug in Walthamstow, which has been pioneered by Chris O’Sullivan from local charity CREST as safe space for people from all backgrounds to talk about their mental health and wellbeing.

Liz Smith, the director and editor of Be The Light said: “We wanted people to experience this film, not just watch it. The performances featured are incredibly powerful in their own right, and they are even more impactful because they have been created by talented artists with lived experience who are not afraid to talk openly about it. Bringing them together in one film had a cumulative effect.”

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Jon Salmon holding the Baton of Hope: a suicide awareness and prevention initiative.

Liz added: “We want people who experience the film to feel empowered to help prevent suicide. The question that so often comes up is, ‘what can I do to help someone with suicidal thoughts?’ This is why we included suicide prevention advice into the film and the “My Life Was Saved By” clips. Signposting to crisis support for those struggling with mental health was also vital.”

Linda Cairns, who filmed and produced Into The Woods said: “I wanted to reveal the huge importance creativity plays in allowing people living with mental health challenges to explore,express and in the process find an inclusive community to support them.”

Artist Dorota Chioma went on to say that “Into The Woods event was organised to showcase amazing creativity of people with lived experience of ill mental health. It was an evening to feel part of community, to feel understood and accepted. I hope the viewers will be inspired and more open to talking about mental health while perceiving people with lived experience beyond their illnesses”.

Free tickets for the event are available here.

If you are currently struggling with your mental health, a Samaritan will face it with you and can be contacted on 116 123 or email [email protected] 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

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