Dundee group get animated to break down mental health stigma



(from left) Megan Appleton, George Meechan, Raegan McKenna and Fiona Holt
(from left) Megan Appleton, George Meechan, Raegan McKenna and Fiona Holt

A Hillcrest Group project in Dundee has worked with three local people to produce a short stop motion animation film and blog aimed at breaking down stigma surrounding mental health.

Dundee Futures works with people who have been affected by homelessness, social isolation or poverty.

The group combined personal stories and experiences to develop the film, The Ballad of Polly and Nelly, which takes a lighter look at the issues of mental health.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOF4xqjzwos

Fiona Holt, Dundee Futures sessional worker, said: “We hope that The Ballad of Polly and Nelly will help to break down the isolation and stigma that often accompanies mental health.

“We chose the subject of mental health because most of the group had experienced it, it mattered to them and to those they care about.

“We had great fun making the film and hope people will enjoy and be able to laugh at the colourful world of Polly and Nelly.

“There is still a lot of work to do in terms of breaking down barriers and promoting positive mental health but this is what we are working towards.”

Fiona Holt, George Meechan, Raegan McKenna, Megan AppletonRaegan McKenna, who took part in the project, said: “I am very proud of what we have created.

“The development process has been quite emotional and has taught me that there are a lot of people going through the same things when it comes to mental health.

“I am sad the project has finished but I have another thing to add to my skill list and the Futures team has shown us that there are lots of opportunities out there.”

To produce the 3 minute film the team had to create over 4000 individual frames by hand and completed the work over 9 weeks, working 4 hours each week.

(from left) George Meechan, Megan Appleton, Raegan McKenna, Fiona Holt and Brandon Bowman
(from left) George Meechan, Megan Appleton, Raegan McKenna, Fiona Holt and Brandon Bowman

Also taking part in the project was George Meechan, who added: “I feel great and more confident after completing the project.

“The Future’s team are all great people and the project made me feel like a real person who is part of something worthwhile.”

Brandon Bowman, who completed the animation trio, said: “I feel 100% better than I did when I started the project, I’m happy with what I and the group have achieved.”

You can track the group’s progress on their blog.

The group is going to the enter the film into the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival’s International Film Competition and it is hoped that the film and blog will form part of Dundee Mental Health Awareness Week which starts on the 21 April 2017.



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