The creator of a short online video aimed at helping men in Dundee open up about their mental health battles has expressed delight at recent awards and its inclusion in the 2021 Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival.
“Mind Yersel”, a short, three minute film written and directed by 22-year-old Dundonian Bonnie MacRae, explores the devastating topic of male suicide in the city – which has the highest rate in Scotland.
It stars young Dundee actor Stephen McMillan (Outlaw King, The North Water) and aimed to create something that would appropriately represent young people struggling in silence.
Dundonian accents on screen
Bonnie, a former pupil of Harris Academy who won a scholarship to the USA, says: “It was so important to me that the film fully represented those it was initially aimed at reaching.
“It’s not often you’ll hear Dundonian accents on screen.
“I wanted the film to be as inclusive and and as realistic as possible.
“Knowing that young people in Dundee could watch the film and see someone who speaks like them, who walks the same streets as them, was a massive motivation.
“I tried hard to depict an honest representation of male depression and suicide. I never wanted the film to hide anything, I knew that in order to strike a chord with people it had to be raw and relatable.
“I’m so proud of what the film has gone on to achieve and I really hope the message came across the way I intended it to.
“To have won so many incredible awards is really flattering, to see just how wide-reaching Mind Yersel has become is more than I could have ever anticipated. I’m just so grateful to all of the film festivals and organisations who have supported and amplified the film and its message”.
Shining on a light on tough issues
Stephen McMillan says: “We shot the film in six hours and it’s led to a city-wide response deconstructing the way men express their feelings. We hope this film shines a light on everyone who feels they have no voice”.
The film has been officially selected by four film festivals and picked up three awards including winner of the Who You Know Creative Festival 2021, winner of the Community Award at the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival, winner of the Audience Award at Hebden Bridge Film Festival as well as second place in their jury prize.
It will feature as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival taking place online in May.
Mind Yersel has amassed over 300,000 views on social media and was selected by NHS Tayside to be part of their suicide prevention work.
*To speak to somebody at the Samaritans go to www.samaritans.org/?nation=scotland or call 116123 free, 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.