Young Australians open up about mental health
AT A time of great need for discussion around youth mental health in Australia, Byron Bay filmmaker Darius Devas has decided to get the conversation rolling.
His latest documentary series, The Common Thread, sees Devas travel across Australia as he shares the stories of the mental health challenges faced by young Australians.
Inspired by his own experiences with mental health, Devas teamed up with headspace and the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health for the project, which will air an episode online every Tuesday for six weeks from July 9.
"It was really sort of a complex process of many different approaches, so we have partnered with several mental health organisations and they helped source some of the participants," Devas explained.
"I would say the majority of the interviews came about through just arriving in town and hitting the streets and approaching young people and seeing if they would be willing to talk about it.
"When the people who agreed stopped and talked to me, almost without exception, the most incredible stories presented and there was such a sense of trust and openness and honesty that really just took me back.
"I think it speaks to the fact that this issue is really wide spread and there's just not enough 'safe spaces' to talk about it."
With the series anticipated to connect and move audiences, Devas hopes it will leave Australians thinking about mental health in a more profound way.
"I really, in my heart of hearts, hope that you know, if this series can make one human being reconsider that ultimate, final action, then it has all been worthwhile," he said.
"I'll never know but that is a huge, huge motivation for me."
The Common Thread will be released across various online platforms with production investment from Screen Australia.
If you or someone you know needs help, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue 1300 224636.