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New York City Mental Health Film Festival

The New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services will host its fourth annual Mental Health Film Festival on Saturday, April 26, 2010. The festival is designed to raise awareness among the general public about those living with psychiatric diseases. The theme of the festival is employment.

Included in the festival’s lineup is Work Works, a documentary that describes the benefits of working for those with psychiatric disabilities, and the feature film Working Like Crazy , which follows the lives of two mental health consumers who start their own business for people with psychiatric disabilities.

The festival will take place at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, and tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door. For more information, please visit: http://www.nycmentalhealthfilmfestival.com

Send in your thoughts of the films after the fest!

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(Ah) My Dad was Diagnosed with Depression

My dad was diagnosed with depression when I was 15. He was like a stranger to me, he became this weird dad acting like a little boy: screaming, losing his temper, breaking objects but the worse was when he insulted us or showed big disappointment in us. For many years, I was really mad at my dad, insomuch that I was hating him, hoping that he would disappear of my life. My sisters and I couldn’t talk about it to anyone, my family didn’t know and no one explained to us what was going on. I was the oldest and I was trying to support my sisters. I was feeling alone in the world, not connected to anyone anymore.

The first time I talked about the situation to someone outside of my closest friends was to a doctor. I was 18, the situation was getting a little bit better, my dad was under medication and accepting some help. I remember saying to the doctor that my dad died three years earlier. She did not help much, in fact. But my mum had the most comforting and enlightening point: when I asked her why she was staying with my dad she told me that he didn’t mean to act like that, he wasn’t himself but just a sick person that needed help, and mostly from his family. It sounds obvious and cliché today but I was 18 at the time and very confused… After this day I was able to accept my dad, accept his apologies that came a few years after and start to reconnect with him. Today, it has been 9 years, my dad is getting much better and we are getting closer and closer everyday even if I had to move out of my country, to get some space in order to totally understand the situation.

Looking back,  I wish that someone explained to me, as a little girl, what was happening and taught me how to help him instead of reject him. I am very thankful to my younger sister who had the strength to stay close to him, listen to him and always be there for him. And I have to say, I could not dream of a better father (and a better mother, because she held the family together).

–Anonymous

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Ah!

I got out of the shower one night and stumbled into our bedroom and cried, and cried, and cried. I shook. That was the first time I ever cried that hard. I screamed and sobbed. He’s gone, except he’s not dead. He’s totally gone. My boyfriend came in to try to get me to stop crying. He left after a minute. I lay on the bed, crying and praying, and crying. I begged God to bring him back. Please help him. I just wanted to help him.

–Anonymous

Ah… He’s happy, I’m happy

—Ashley, sister of someone diagnosed with schizophrenia

Welcome to The Ah Project!

The Ah Project welcomes your thoughts, whether you just need to vent or have a bit of happiness to share. We know that being close to someone with a mental illness can sometimes make you feel like your needs aren’t as important, but if we all work together to share how we really feel, then we’ll have better relationships all around.

It’s okay to be angry, scared, guilty, or happy about where you are. This is a place where you can let it out. The Ah Project welcomes your writing, comments, videos, songs – anything that expresses how you feel about mental illness. You can send these in the form of email attachments or links.

There are a lot of people that know exactly how you feel, we just need to start talking.

Please send any contributions to theahproject@gmail.com


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