After eight months of working on the production of this film, I am proud to share it with Mental Ideas’ creative community! The film was inspired by my belief that if people with mental illness felt supported and understood, then the stigma surrounding it would slowly disappear. With this in mind, I got in contact with people from all around the world who were keen to share their stories. The topics explored include Eating Disorders, Agoraphobia, Anxiety Disorders, PTSD, Sexual Assault, Dissociative Identity Disorder, OCD, Depression, Domestic Violence, Borderline Personality Disorder, Anxiety, Self Harm, and Suicide. Sharing our stories helps aid the healing process, educates others, and provides a basis for honest communication to start.
Mental illness can affect any of us at any age or stage of our lives. By sharing our experiences, we start to feel less alone and are more likely to ask others for help. Learning about the warning signs, triggers and symptoms of conditions like depression can help so many of us who are struggling. Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide. If our society is continuously teaching kids, teenagers, college students and adults to simply “deal” with the effects of the mental illnesses they are struggling with, it becomes a secret, and when something so severe as mental illness becomes a secret, even from those closest to us, the condition only worsens. By listening to the stories of the people in my film, I immediately felt a strong sense of connection in relation to my own personal struggles. I was overcome by the amount of appreciation and thanks I received for helping build a platform for their stories.
Your friend, your child, your spouse, your parent, your sibling or anyone else you care deeply about may need your help in the future coping with a mental illness. So even if you stand by the stigma, it does not change this ~ Someone you love might need YOU to support them, YOU to guide them down a healthy path. YOU can easily be placed in that position and YOU can be the change in someone’s life. Thanks for helping me to end the silence and the stigma surrounding mental illness by showing an interest in my film!
Allison Combo is a 22 year old writer, filmmaker and entrepreneur from the USA. She has personal experience of many of the topics discussed in her film, including anorexia, OCD, domestic violence and PTSD. She has chosen not to share her personal story on domestic violence for safety reasons and feels proud of those who have bravely shared their own stories in this film.