Film festival to focus on mental health


Mental health awareness: Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan said more must be done than just helping young people with their challenges and problems.

PETALING JAYA: Much more needs to be done than just help young people with their challenges and problems, says World Mental Health Day 2020 international patron Tengku Puteri Raja Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan Al-Sultan Abdullah.

“We also need to listen and talk to them as they are the source of solutions and growth, ” she said.

The eldest daughter of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah is one of the jurors of the upcoming “My Mind on Film” (MMOF) – a Malaysian youth film festival organised by HELP University and the Malaysian Mental Health Association.

Young people are the source of solutions and growth, she said in a press release issued by the university yesterday.

“MMOF has amazing potential to give young people a way to share their perspectives and ideas, ” she added.

Emphasising inspiration, expression, understanding and stigma reduction in the local context, the MMOF festival focuses on mental health.

From now until Dec 20, youths aged between 16 and 25 can submit short films which will be judged by a panel of experts.

Films produced by the six finalists will be screened during an award ceremony to be held early next year.

Malaysian Mental Health Association clinical psychologist Tamar Chang said the film festival captures the talent and voices of young people, breaks the silence around mental health and starts important conversations.

MMOF festival team member and HELP University psychology student Alysha Kyra said the festival not only contributes to the conversation of mental health, but allows youths to express how they feel on film.

Student Tan Yann Zhao, 17, said film-making is his passion and the MMOF festival provides an opportunity for him to showcase his work and share his perspective and ideas on mental health.

“I want to let people know that they’re not alone, ” he said.

Describing MMOF as an innovative project for young people, school counsellor Amanda Quah said the film festival also allows them to explore their creativity and learn more about mental health.

Prizes include cash, electronic devices, film industry placements, counselling session packages and university scholarships.

In conjunction with the film festival, a series of webinars on psychology and access to mental health services will be held.

For details, visit https://filmfreeway.com/mymindonfilm.

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