Three contemporary films depicting various experiences of psychosis are being shown at Watershed as part of Psychosis on Screen, a season to mark the launch of a new team that will help improve the lives of people who experience psychosis in Bristol. Psychosis on Screen aims to uncover the creativity often inherent in psychosis and to develop a shared, more human understanding of these sometimes frightening experiences.
The new team is part of Bristol Health Partners, which brings together the city’s hospitals, health commissioners, local authority and universities to make a difference to Bristol people’s health, and the services they rely on. The Psychosis Health Integration Team (HIT) includes academics, commissioners, psychologists, care and support providers and other experts, as well as service users and their families and carers. The Psychosis HIT’s Directors are University of Bristol’s Dr Sarah Sullivan, Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Simon Downer and Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group Chair Dr Martin Jones.
The Psychosis HIT works to improve the lives of people with psychosis in Bristol. They aim to hear the voices of people who experience psychosis, their families and carers and those of staff in mental health services and other settings in order to improve services across the city.
Dr Simon Downer said:
“There are many different perspectives about psychosis, a term that encapsulates many different human experiences - from voice hearing to other unusual beliefs. Sometimes people having these experiences need support from specialist mental health services. Psychotic experiences can help reveal the limitations of current science and medical knowledge. How we understand such psychological difficulties has a rich and complex history, influenced by developments in medicine and psychotherapy, and by changes in social attitudes to madness and human distress. We know that people with serious mental health problems are more likely to be socially excluded, unemployed and have a shorter life expectancy than the general population.”
Mark Cosgrove, Watershed’s Cinema Curator said:
“Cinema lends itself to exploring and making accessible many challenging issues - for example we have recently looked at palliative care through film as well as depression in young people. This new season uncovering psychosis is a perfect example of how film can help to demystify an important condition. We are delighted to be partnering with Bristol Health Partners to engage with the widest possible audience at Watershed.”
Working together, Watershed and Bristol Health Partners have put together this season to increase awareness of psychosis. The films being screened are:
Bleak and brutally honest, Lodge Kerrigan's brilliant drama chronicles the daily rituals of a disturbed man, played by Damien Lewis, who feels responsible for the abduction of his daughter. An intense character study of a man whose life has been destroyed, leaving him mentally ill. 'Shock of the Fall' author Nathan Filer, who is a member of the Psychosis HIT, will kick the evening off with an introductory talk.
French documentarist Nicolas Philibert (Être et Avoir, Land of the Deaf) sensitively filmed people suffering from mental illness at La Borde, a grand care centre located in a chateau in France. The film will be introduced by Conor McCormack and Simon Downer.
For the past three years, filmmaker and psychoanalyst in training Conor McCormack has documented Bristol Hearing Voices Network – a self-help group for people who hear voices and have other unusual experiences. Strange and wonderful, intimate and emotionally affecting, In the Real is an observational collaborative documentary which goes to the heart of the voice-hearing experience. Who, or what, are the voices that only these men can hear? What do they say and what do they mean? And how does hearing voices transform their sense of self and world? A panel discussion will follow the screening.The screening of In the Real is followed by the launch event of the Psychosis Health Integration Team.