GUPSA supports putting PTSD in the spotlight

24 Oct

GUPSA supported Griffith Film School PhD student Kym Melzer and we screened her series of short films about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to mark Mental Health & Wellbeing Week in October 2016.

Kym’s films, “The Ripple Effect of PTSD”, focuses on the impact of PTSD on Australian veterans and their families. Kym said that she was grateful to Griffith and GUPSA for throwing their  support behind her project.
Kym said that “I’m truly thankful for all the support given to my PhD research project,” she said.“I’m so happy that the series is being used as part of Griffith’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Week. “PTSD is a serious problem and sufferers’ partners and family aren’t always recognised.”

Kym was inspired by Griffith University Professor Michael Balfour’s pioneering A Difficult Return project that raised awareness of PTSD in veterans. She has spent the past three years working on the documentary series, which explores the ripple effect of PTSD on veterans’ partners, family and friends.

Kym reflected that “Some of the people featured in these films have become like family,” she said. “You spend a lot of time together, and they are sharing some of the most personal parts of their lives with you.”

The seven documentary shorts form part of Kym’s PhD research project, and have been screened at film festivals in Australia and overseas. The series was up for a Red Poppy Award at the Veterans Film Festival in Canberra (AUS), was a semi finalist at the Los Angeles Cinefest (USA) and the film (featuring Bek Houghton and Michael Harding) have also be screened at the Maine Cannabis Film Festival (USA) as part of the global conversation about PTSD and the benefits of medicinal cannabis. Full article here.

Kym shared that “It’s very exciting to be nominated,” she said. “It validates me as a filmmaker, but more importantly it gives the participants a voice.”

The films are being used by the Defence Community Organisation, RSL Queensland and PTSD support groups. Kym is seeking funding for a second group of films focusing on the families of Australian first responders such as police, firefighters and paramedics.

Congratulations Kym and all the best from GUPSA!

For more information and links to Kym’s films go to MelzerKym.com.au

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