Singapore Mental Health Film Festival 2021 returns on May 22 with panel discussions, workshops

PHOTO: Singapore Mental Health Film Festival

The Covid-19 pandemic has heightened concerns on mental health and a large number of Singaporeans are still challenged by it more than one year into the pandemic. 

Since its founding in 2018, one event has aimed to facilitate dialogue and encourage care for mental health. Now, it also intends to shed light on the pandemic's impact on mental health in Singapore. 

Running from May 22 till May 30, the Singapore Mental Health Film Festival (SMHFF) 2021 will feature film screenings, panel discussions, and workshops based on a range of mental health topics including suicide, addiction, childhood trauma, and dementia. 

The films

The SMHFF offers viewing of award-winning films from around the world and in this year's festival, there are nine different films, each accompanied by a panel discussion. 

One of them is Happiness (2016), a 112 minute-long Hong Kong film that depicts the struggles of a young man after his mother's death. He leaves his hometown and ends up building a friendship with a middle-aged woman with Alzheimer's. The movie is accompanied by a panel discussion titled Build a Dementia-inclusive Society.

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Another film Those Who Work (2016) from Europe focuses on a man's struggle with work life and the effects on him and his relationships after he is fired. Accompanying the film is the panel discussion Mental Health at the Workplace.

In the British film Sorry We Missed You (2019), a family fights an uphill struggle against debt since the 2008 financial crash. Like in today's Covid-19 pandemic, the family also has to meet the challenge of living life in uncertain times. There will be a discussion on Covid-19 and Navigating the Demands of Change after the screening. 

Another panel conversation titled Covid-19: A Pandemic Of Inequality? will take place with the screening of the 2007 American film Freedom Writers.

ALSO READ: Counselling in Singapore - free & affordable help for mental healthcare

Pricing and workshops

Virtual tickets cost $12 and include passes to a feature film, one short film, and the accompanying panel discussion. With a $45 virtual bundle, you can view four different films and attend all four of the accompanying discussions. 

For physical tickets, $18 will get you a screening of one feature and one short film at the National Gallery plus access to the live panel discussion. The $30 twin feature ticket gets you two tickets to a physical film screening and an accompanying short film and panel discussion. 

In addition, workshops would also be held during the event. They include a HIIT workout, a yoga class with sound healing, why playfulness is beneficial, and other classes aimed at combating mental health issues. The workshop prices range from $15 to $35. 

To make a booking visit their website

ALSO READ: Dealing with depression: How following a daily routine can help manage emotional well-being

alexanderkt@asiaone.com