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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together
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Stars join forces to launch anti-stigma film The Revolving Door

A ground-breaking film which challenges the stigma surrounding mental health issues, supported by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, will be premiered at Villa Park next week.

The Revolving Door is a 30-minute film following a young man’s experience of mental health and the problems he encounters, was written and produced by local writers Dan Wilson and Shaun Welch – also known as Aeon and Evoke.

Oona King, head of diversity at Channel 4, and actress Patsy Palmer – who will share her own experiences on the day - are supporting the launch, which will be held at the Holte Suite, Villa Park, in Aston, on May 27.

The event, which begins at 9am and will be hosted by Central Tonight presenter Sameena Ali-Khan, also aims to bring together a wide spectrum of community groups and organisations to encourage a wider debate on mental illness.

Despite being produced on a shoestring budget of £2,000 people at test screenings of The Revolving Door have been “blown away” by the film’s honest approach to Marcus’s journey.

Benjamin Zephaniah, author and poet, described The Revolving Door as “a very special film”.
He said: “This is the work of a small group of intelligent young people, whose intelligence comes from real experiences, and their willingness to look into the mirror.

“They have raised the debate about mental health by exploring not simply what is done to us, but what we do to each other.”

The film is also being backed by The Vine magazine, A&E Productions, and supported by the national Time To Change campaign to end mental health discrimination.

Lakhvir Rellon, director for community engagement for the trust, said: “Mental health and the community’s reaction to it remains one of the last taboos to blight our society.

“This film has been overwhelmingly positively received by our partnership agencies, members of the trust and service users. It really challenges people to think about what they could do support Marcus, who is at the centre of the film.”

One in four people will experience a mental health problem during their lifetime. The Revolving Door stresses how important it is for services and communities to work together to support those struggling to maintain good mental health.

The film’s producers visited and talked to patients at the Zinnia Centre, in Sparkbrook, and Reaside, in Rubery, as part of their research.

Dan, who is a trained youth worker, said: “The film is not so much about Marcus’ illness but rather the reaction that his condition induces in the other characters. The shock factor also sparks a dialogue.

Shaun added: “It’s almost as if we look at mental health with blind eyes. How can you describe the colour blue to a blind man?  We just want to help address the stigmas that are out there.”

For more information about this event, contact Sukhdeep Dhanda on 0121 301 1060 or email sukhdeep.dhanda@bsmhft.nhs.uk.