To coincide with National Carer’s Week and Mental Health Month, a project by health industry groups including the Far West Local Health District will have seen six audiences across western NSW and Victoria by the tour’s end to raise awareness of carers in the state’s community. The short documentary Intangible details stories of seven carers as they see their situation, and the screening in Dubbo was graced by guest speaker Jessica Rowe.
Made by leftover funding from the My Time Project in Broken Hill, a two-year initiative aiming to increase awareness and family support options for carers, the seven women were approached to take part and share their story so others seeking guidance could find relativity.
The project was months in the making, and Kelly Leonard from the Family & Carer Mental Health Program said “the producers wanted to put real faces to it, and not have paid actors talk on screen”. The narration of the carers varies with their personalities and situations, ranging from siblings who have bipolar disorder and children who have schizophrenia to 14-year-old Rachel, whose mother’s issues leave her looking after three younger siblings.
Stylistically, it’s separated into chapters for each story evenly but not much can be said for sound or some of the vision. But that was never the point. Dubbo’s audience, seen by Ms Leonard as a stronger turnout than expected, was given what it seemed a lot of people were looking for – realising there are many carers out there like them.
Jessica Rowe’s talk before Intangible also struck a chord. The journalist’s battle with post-natal depression and having a mother with bipolar has been well publicised, but it’s still affecting. One local lady who was had earlier admitted to suffering depression suddenly squeezed her daughter’s hand for strength as Jessica reinforced the fact no-one is alone; Jessica’s genuine happiness in sharing her experience made everyone in the room pay attention.
After the tour wraps up in Gilgandra after having visited Dubbo, Broken Hill, Mildura, Bathurst and Orange, Intangible will be used to assist staff training throughout health services. DVDs and other promotional material can be purchased from the film’s website.
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