JUICE is no stranger to the topic of mental health. A topic that has been covered and prioritised for years, the need to address our mental well-being will never fade into obscurity.
During a global pandemic, mental health is as important now than ever. With suicide rates climbing and mental-health hotlines buzzing every minute, Malaysians are feeling the full repercussions of isolation, hopelessness and uncertainty.
While we are discussing our mental health on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, outside of social media, can we really – with full confidence – say that we’re looking out for ourselves and our loved ones enough?
Are we addressing the demons in our heads or are we simply shutting the door on them when they come to visit?
With that, several of Malaysia’s known film directors are banding together to make sure that mental health remains in the forefront of our conversations in regards to the unrelenting effects of the pandemic.
Layar Perak: Let There Be Light is an event organised by NGO, Nyawa that aims to promote awareness on mental health.
The event will screen 5 selected films that primarily revolve around the topic of suicide and depression in order to explore the themes in a way we can’t at the moment. By depicting human connections and promoting a better understanding on how to cope with the cause and effects of mental illness, Layar Perak wants us to feel seen and heard.
In unison, the event will be collecting funds and channeling it to several beneficiaries, most notably Befrienders, an NGO that is all too familiar with Malaysians who are undergoing mental health troubles.
Here are two of the films that will be screening at this event on 25 September…
Diri (dir. Sharifah Aleysha, 2014)
Six months after losing her sister, 16-year-old Aysha goes through a journey to find a way of moving on and maybe even the courage to say goodbye.
if i can’t see the sun, maybe i should go (dir. Feisal Azizuddin, 2021)
Reminiscing the times when things were normal, a man struggles with his deteriorating mental health caused by the lack of physical social interaction.
Malaysians have a long way to go in terms of truly understanding mental health within the social ambit and passing evidence-based mental health policy reforms.
Instead of vilifying and criminalising mental illness and suicide, Malaysia needs to recognise these issues as part of the everyday human experience.
Ridding the stigma that comes with it is a step towards a more accepting nation.
To keep updated, follow Nyawa on Instagram.
If you need someone to talk to, call 03-76272929 (Befrienders, available 24 hours)