A second film has been launched online by local charity Mind Your Head highlighting men’s mental ill health.
The short monologue film was published on YouTube this morning and tells the story of a young Shetlander who speaks of how he struggled when he left the isles to study at the University of St Andrews.
He explains how the reality of being away from home and his family and friends took its toll and he slipped into a period of mental ill health. Unable to cope, Ben returned home and got help and has made a significant recovery.
Mind Your Head has asked that Ben’s surname is not published to prevent people south from being able to trace him online.
The film tells his story and what impact this had on his family and how he felt he had let them down, which in reality was not the case.
Ben hopes the film will help tackle the stigma associated with mental ill health and encourage other men to talk openly without fear.
Mind Your Head project manager Anouska Civico said: “This is a completely different story to that of the previous film [released two months ago]. It is just as honest and raw but sets a different tone. We met Ben in one of our ‘Grubby Hut’ sessions and he shared his story with us then. He then agreed to this film to share his story with others.”
Grubby Hut sessions are when Mind Your Head staff visit male-dominated workplaces to speak to staff about mental health issues.
A third film will be launched soon. The three stories all tackle the importance of talking about mental health with the focus remaining on men. They were recorded and produced in collaboration with Dave Donaldson.
Mrs Civico added: “It’s amazing that men like Ben are willing to share their story with others and so publicly. My sincere thanks to Ben and his family for agreeing to share his story. There is no underestimating how powerful this film is and how wide an audience this will reach.”
Mind Your Head chairwoman Shona Manson said: “We are delighted to be launching this second film as part of our campaign to encourage men to speak openly about their struggles with mental ill health in the knowledge that these real accounts can have a far greater impact than folk listening to a lecture.
“I continue to be awed by the support Mind Your Head has from the Shetland community and from people like Ben, and recently Laurence, to work alongside us in campaigning to eradicate the stigma associated with mental ill health.’