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Author Topic: Digital doco maker looks to mental health  (Read 34 times)
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« on: 28 September 2009, 12:16:AM »

An award-winning gay Kiwi documentary producer is seeking LGBT stories for a new digital series about mental health issues.
Gareth Watkins has received a 2009 NZ Mental Health Media Grant to create a set of five digital stories that take a personal look at how LGBT New Zealanders positively deal with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and self-harm.

"I want to create an opportunity for people to share their experiences and help others who may currently be experiencing mental health issues, and in doing so, encourage debate and reduce discrimination around mental illness," Watkins explains.

The resulting stories will be made available on a free DVD, on the internet, and will be deposited with the Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand.

Digital storytelling is an exciting way of using new media technologies to reflect back on personal experiences, Watkins adds.

"We'll interweave personal narrative, images and creative writing to form a unique five-minute video that reflects a person's individual journey. It is a creative process that is very much driven by the participant.

"Digital stories establish a one-to-one connection between the participant and the viewer, and having these stories on the internet will allow a global audience to share and learn from these valuable experiences.

"We will also be able to reach a whole group of people who may not feel comfortable or ready to talk to people around them."


Watkins would love to hear from anyone in the LGBT communities - any age, ethnicity, or location - who would like to be part of the project.

"However, it is very important that participants are comfortable sharing their story publicly, and aren't currently in a vulnerable or crisis situation," he notes.

"This is a chance to share your experience of mental health issues and how you positively dealt with them. In doing so you'll be creating a valuable resource that will be drawn upon by other LGBT people for years to come."

For further information, or to register your interest please contact Gareth Watkins, .
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