I usually get asked to film and document happy celebrations like weddings, Christenings and parties. So, when I was approached by Paul to film his son's memorial service, I felt out of my comfort zone and knew it would be challenging, but as Paul explained the circumstances surrounding his son’s death, I felt that I should help in every which way I could.
Paul's son Jonathan had battled depression for many years and had tragically taken his own life.
Jonathan's dad asked me to film the whole service on behalf of family members that couldn't make it.However, with the family’s permission, I wanted to share Torsten's (Jonathan's brother) message to raise awareness of the stigma surrounding the affected talking openly about their poor mental health.
I, and many people I know, have suffered from different forms of anxiety and depression brought on by stress, isolation, trauma and insecurities. Research shows that 1 in 4 people live with or have suffered from an adverse mental health issue. Let's drop the stiff upper lip and try to rid our culture of the taboos of admitting to feeling rubbish or scared, and instead be honest about it and learn to listen and support each other.
Torsten's speech at his brother’s memorial is an emotional challenge to us all. He said that too many of us aren't talking openly about our mental health issues, especially men. He wants to create a culture where, we recognise low points, that it's ok to admit when we're not feeling great and are in need of some support; to stop pretending we're fine and to ask for help.
If you're feeling like you need help and support that can be found here https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/mental-health-and-stigma/help-and-support or you might prefer to talk to your friends, family, colleagues or GP. There's lots of support out there in many different formats.
If you want to help the research and support for people suffereing from mental health issues, you can make a donation to Mind here https://www.mind.org.uk/