It’s time for the Filipinos to take part in breaking the stigma surrounding issues on mental health.
In the Philippines, there is an alarming number of people suffering from mental health problems, but still, there is insufficient help that is done for those who are in need. As of this moment, these people remain in the dark and are continuously pleading for the rightful actions to address the country’s dilemma.
But despite the said national problem, hope has seemed to be immediately bestowed upon these people who suffer from mental health problems.
In order to help shed light on issues surrounding mental health, Ira Giorgetti, a 23-year-old Latin honors graduate of the University of the Philippines Film Institute, turned his school project into something more life-changing for the benefit of many people.
Through his short film entitled, The Truth as Told in Lies, Giorgetti hopes to spread awareness about depression and suicide in the country.
“I believe mental health is an overlooked aspect of wellbeing in Filipino society, as it is in most of the modern world. Film is my way of expressing my message in a convincing, entertaining, and captivating way that still drives what I’m trying to say home to your everyday viewer,” Giorgetti answered on why he created a film that advocates mental health.
Giorgetti’s short film was originally a part of his university dissertation that mainly centers on suicide and aims to raise awareness on mental health issues such as depression and abandonment, including its impact in the real world; be it in the lives of rich or poor people alike.
The Truth as Told in Lies is a story that tackles about abandonment and abuse. Viewers will get to see what it is like be left behind, leaving a kind of pain that eventually turns into scars. It is a mark in which it can change the fate a person for the rest of his life.
The film revolves around the life of a boy named Dominic, who spent his childhood under the hands of his abusive mother. As a way of escape, he attempted suicide but failed, making his way inside a coma. Now, with his current state, he has no other choice but to helplessly watch his mother as she retells his story through her lies.
Not only does the film exposes the stigma revolving mental health issues, but also it lets people experience the world of Dominic, or the people with mental health problems in general, and see all the misconceptions from their own point of view.
On the other hand, the film has garnered critical acclaim in the Philippines, even headlining a series of the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, as well as gaining attention from various mental health associations.
Moreover, in order to have more supporters for the film, Giorgetti made a partnership with the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation and he also hopes to widen the mental health campaign in the Philippines.
“Raising awareness alone does nothing. It’s the equivalent of running someone over on the road, getting out of your car, and telling everyone else to look at that person on the floor. You have to take action!” Giorgetti shared.
Giorgetti’s film is only one of the few projects in the country that hopes to break the stigma in issues about mental health. But like what he had mentioned, raising awareness is not enough, there has to be an action as well. Through his creation, he had implanted in the minds of many people that mental health is a serious yet overlooked matter in the country.
As of this time, there are already various charities and foundations which prioritize mental health. The only thing left to do is to keep fighting and supporting these groups of people in the journey towards a country that fully supports those who have mental health problems. These people must know that they are not completely forgotten and set aside by their countrymen. That no matter how hard their situation may be, help will always be on their way.