What inspired Mental?


We asked Trish Dribnenki, one of our founders, to tell us about why she started Mental! 

When I was a Psychiatric Nursing Student, I had the opportunity to work in a variety of programs. During one of my placements, a mentor gave me a photocopied chapter of a book which listed a number of popular films that were about mental illness. I started thinking about mental health and film, and wondered if film would be a way to engage community awareness and conversation (and in doing so, reduce stigma!)

During the years that followed, I learned a few things:

Art and film are ways that we can express our experiences with grief/loss/stress/illness/pain/joy/resilience

Art and film can be a language that everyone may identify with, share,or understand (sometimes, in our  own unique ways and perspectives)


I learned that part of being human is having a story. We all have brains and mental health and stories! I Trish mentalwanted to find others that would help create an opportunity for people experiencing mental health or addiction challenges to feel supported and (even acknowledged, included, and celebrated) within a broader community. I thought a film and art festival would exhibit talent, celebrate resilience, provide hope, and facilitate inclusion.

Being a human means that we all experience pain, sadness, stress, loss, joy, resilience, hope, and laughter. Film and art can help us get through this life journey together. If we can open our eyes and hearts to our fellow humans and their stories, we will see beauty and value within every human.

Join us at the 2nd annual Mental Film Festival at Globe Cinema on June 3. Learn more and get tickets – best of all, it’s pay what you can!

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