Meet the Panelists
Many thanks to all of you who joined us for this lunchtime screening and discussion around the film, Sometimes I Think About Dying. We also would like to thank our talented panelists for participating:
Stefanie Abel Horowitz
Stefanie Abel Horowitz directed theater for a decade before pivoting to film. Her second short film, sometimes, i think about dying premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, traveled the world on the Sundance Shorts Tour, garnered Abel Horowitz the Future Filmmaker Award from Palm Spring FF, and was shortlisted for the 92nd Academy Awards.
Katy Wright-Mead is co-writer, lead actor and producer of the 2020 Academy Award Short-Listed sometimes, i think about dying, a short film that World Premiered at Sundance Film Festival and traveled the world with the 2019 Sundance Short Film Tour. Katy is an alumnus of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Larry Moss Intensive, T. Schreiber Studio and UCB Training Center.
Patrick Hendry has worked as a mental health advocate for the past 29 years. His areas of expertise include peer provided services, self-directed care, recovery based trainings, organizational development, and management and sustainability. Patrick received MHA’s highest honor, the Clifford W. Beers Award in 2012, and a SAMHSA Voice Award and Eli Lilly Reintegration Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.
Want to Know More?
In the film, we meet Fran, a young woman dealing with challenging thoughts about her own mortality while navigating feelings of disconnection at work.
Mental health, depression, and feeling lonely in the workplace are issues that affect more people than you might think:
• In fact, according to a 2019 study, mental illness is one of the top causes of worker disability in the U.S., with 62% of missed work days attributed to mental health conditions. Of people working with mental illness, 66% have been diagnosed with depression.
• One population that is particularly at risk are young adults between the age of 18 to 21. In the spring 2019 American College Health Association survey of nearly 50,000 college students, 66% said they felt very lonely at some point over the past twelve months, 71% of respondents said they felt “very sad”, 66% felt overwhelming anxiety, and 13% seriously considered suicide.
• Dwelling on thoughts about dying can feel uncomfortable and even scary, but it’s also common. More than one-third of young adults in the United States report having thoughts of death and suicide, while nearly half show at least moderate symptoms of depression. While these thoughts can feel unsettling, it’s normal to entertain them once and a while.
• With the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, there are indications that the loneliness epidemic is seriously impacting young people. In 2021, 36% of participants in a national survey of approximately 950 Americans reported feeling lonely “frequently” or “almost all the time or all the time” in the prior four weeks, compared with 25 percent who recalled experiencing serious issues in the two months prior to the pandemic. Though perhaps most striking is that 61 percent of those aged 18 to 25 reported high levels.
Submit Your Work Here
Research has shown that by sharing your work with others, you can increase confidence and self-esteem, encourage relationships, and build community.
One of the best ways to activate the power of art and healing with others is through the strength and inspiration that good storytelling offers. This film resonates with us, and we want to share it with the world! You can help us do just that. Click this link for access to the film so that you can share it in your community. You’ll also find more info about the filmmaker, as well as a video that shines a light on some of the themes and ideas that drive the film.
Join Our Film Club
Sign up for our Film Club and get film picks from our fourth annual UnLonely Film Festival delivered to your inbox each Friday, and to stay posted on the next installment of our Filmmaker Connect Series coming up in May 2021. You’ll also be among the first to hear about the launch of our fifth annual UnLonely Film Festival, kicking off June 6, 2021 at 8 PM ET!
We’ve put together a list of resources that we hope will be helpful in supporting better mental health. We are grateful to our partner, Mental Health America, for sharing some of their excellent resources with us. The list below includes special mental health tool-kits, mental health screenings, tips for taking good care of yourself throughout the day, along with creative outlets and other ways to share the power of art and healing with your community.
If you are in crisis, please reach out immediately for help. There are several resources for help in a crisis:
- CALL: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center
- TEXT: MHA to 741741
- CALL: 911
MHA has an extensive list of self-help tools, screenings, and worksheets to help you identify and address your mental health challenges.
The Shine Initiative has put together a toolkit of coping strategies to fit your emotional state.
This list of creative activities used by art therapists, offered by The Gateway Foundation, is designed to improve mental, emotional, and physical challenges as well as to address issues of addiction.
WATCH ANOTHER SHORT FILM
Our fourth annual UnLonely Film Festival is available for you to experience for free! Here you will find 35+ short films to inspire, engage and inform. Each film page contains an opportunity for you to share your thoughts and complete a creative exercise.
HELP A FRIEND
With so many of us facing serious challenges due to the pandemic, it is good to be reminded of ways we can support individuals who may be struggling. The Jed Foundation has a quick and useful overview of what we all can do to help.