KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Connections is a wonderful place in Halifax (and Dartmouth, and Lower Sackville) where people who are recovering from mental illness can go for a cup of coffee, a kind word, some company, counselling and all kinds of practical support.
In this week’s full-length documentary we meet eight people who joined Halifax Connections. They talk about their lives, how they learned to cope with their illness, and what gives them joy.
“Nice to have a cat at home. When you come home you have a cat waiting for you, it feels good. It’s like a person at the door, waiting for you. Her name is Daisy, and yes, she’s a really good cat.”
I can so relate to that. Turns out people who live with mental illness are exactly like everybody else.
This excellent documentary was made by Kent Martin of Unceasing Play, together with Chris Bourque, Shelley Harvill and Nancy Beck. Check out the Unceasing Play website.
Kent Martin also co-produced Wi’kupaltimk -Feast of Forgiveness, a documentary about the relationship between the indigenous community in urban Halifax and food. That documentary was our weekend video in November of last year.
I was just watching that weekend video and as being the strong advoact I am on issues of both Mental Health as well as poverty I just want to say a few thing about that video.
First – the way I felt about the content of this video was:
30% In agreement with the content and program talked about in the video.
30% Disappointment with the content and program talked about in this video.
20% I felt like their was something missing regarding what should have been considered an important piece of content talked about during the making of this video.
The above describes my 100% feeling.
I am in agreement with this video’s content because I do agree that people with mental illness needs a safe place as such to go and talk about their Mental Illness. After-all their are a lot of life struggles that with having a mental illness. Connections I agree is a great place for people to go and talk about Mental Illness Safiley. Also a great place for getting help with the life struggles they experience.
I am disappointed with this video’s content because at the same time as agreeing watching this video brought back a personal memory for me. I myself has tried has tired to at one point in my life get accepted into this very program. I had been diagnosed with Impulse Control Disorder. However after my doctor refereed me, the answer came back as “no I did not get accepted”. The reason I was given is because Impulse Control Disorder was not considered by the Mental Health System an Access#1 Mental Illness. Also I have talked to others who had tried to get accepted into this program and they could not get accepted either. They were given the same the reasons I was.
Their were two important pieces wish I feel is important for people to know is missing from this video:
#1 – The referral process for people to become members of connections. I know this from my personal experiences of trying to accepted myself. In order to become a member of connections your doctor or other mental health professional has to refer you saying that you have an access#1 Mental Health diagnosis. If your doctor does not feel comfortable saying that your exact diagnosis fits under that category the you do not qualify to become a member of connections.
#2 – The fact is the people who attend this program live in poverty. The people in the video talking saying anything about their lives of living in poverty and how it effects their mental well-being, that was missing from this video.
Where my feeling of 20% confusion about this video comes from, at-least a couple of the mental health consumers I saw in this video appeared to me like people who could hold down full-time jobs, and get out of poverty, if they had the opportunity to do so. I guess you could say the confusion part of how I feel comes from, Mental Illness is at times difficult to figure.
Otherwise great job in Making the video.