Uploaded on Dec 2, 2011
A drama about depression in a South Asian community
'Subhe Umeed' (Dawn of Hope) highlights the impact of depression through the stories of four individuals. The scenarios intertwine and give emotive insights. A message of hope is conveyed as the characters find support in their local community and access professional help. On the DVD a section of interviews with medical professionals offers additional insights.
The film was made in order to challenge stigma and raise awareness of mental health issues within the South Asian Communities. The initial vision came from Dr Safi Afghan, Consultant Psychiatrist at Dorothy Pattison Hospital in Walsall who worked with specialist arts and health development workers at Walsall Council Creative Development Team in order to realise the project. The team aimed to reach out to the local community by delivering a high quality production that evoked an emotional response whilst informing its audience.
Round Midnight Theatre Company created the film and the process was managed by Walsall Council Creative Development Team working with a steering committee of mental health professionals and community development workers.
The script was developed by Round Midnight, and Dr Safi Afghan following a period of research and community consultation and final endorsement from clinicians.The film was cast using Urdu speaking actors from across the UK as well as local people who used services featured in the film. It features recognisable local venues including a school, Sure Start centre and women's support group. A separate section of the DVD features interviews with medical professionals giving additional insights and an accompanying booklet and PDF file gives a comprehensive overview of depression and highlights sources of further information and local services.
The story line in the film captures common presentations of clinical depression in the context of South Asian community. These are illustrated through the four characters that are linked to each other in the script. These scenarios show individuals from different age groups; a teenage boy experiencing difficulties at school, a widow with diabetes and depressive symptoms, a school teacher experiencing emotional distress leading to severe depression and suicidal attempt and a young married housewife experiencing mood symptoms and OCD after giving birth to her first child.
Public literacy and understanding of mental health problems particularly depression continues to be insufficient, poorly understood and compounded by stigma. People from ethnic and diverse backgrounds, when affected, suffer manifold as a result of facing discrimination not only from society but from their own families and communities. Such a scenario acts as a barrier for them to access appropriate support and care. Additionally, South Asian communities, who have limited understanding of English, feel alienated as they did not benefited from public education campaigns in the past. The major social impact of the film will be its ability to capture the attention of marginalised communities, being produced in their own language and in local setting. The film has the potential to capture the hearts and minds of targeted communities and sensitise them to seek treatment and engage with services thus contributing to the reduction in the tremendous individual and societal burden of depression.
As we know, depression is common disorder affecting one in five individuals, is doubly prevalent in women. By 2020, Depression is projected to be the 2nd leading cause of disability in the World. It constitutes a significant public health concern and burden, as a result of its high prevalence, long duration and likelihood of recurrence. It continues to be under diagnosed and inadequately treated due to stigma and factors relating to adequacy of appropriate professional skills and training etc. A major community survey in England (EMPIRIC study 1999) showed that women from Pakistani & Indian origin have significantly increased prevalence of Depression as compared to Caucasian counterparts.
There is a growing need for vigorous public and media campaigns aimed at diverse segments of the population to de-stigmatise Depression.
If you would like to order a copy of the DVD "Dawn of Hope" (Subhe Umeed, 25 minutes plus four professional interviews) please contact Walsall Council Creative Development Team, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To request a copy of the Urdu booklet on depression please email email@example.com.
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