Mental health affects everyone, and a new video aims to change the way people think about it.
A crew filming a promotional video for the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia swung through Cumberland County on Tuesday morning, filming a clip for the video at Maria's Place, a new health and wellness clinic opened this summer to help serve the mental health needs of the county.
"It's been a real cross-section of people we're trying to engage, some are mental health consumers, some are supporters, some are people who work in the mental health community, and we're also trying to engage some military personnel," explained Paul Palmeter, manager for marketing and communications with the foundation.
"The bottom line is that mental health affects everyone," he continued. "It doesn't choose any certain section of society."
People from around the province will be shown in the video holding placards with random statements about mental health, then handing the placards off-screen, to be "picked up" by the person in the next clip.
Among those holding the placards will be Darlene Strong, professional counselor and proprietor of Maria's Place, her home-based private clinic. It is named after her great-grandmother, Maria (Sickles) Cooke, and will be enhances to reflect seven generations of significant black culture and history in Cumberland County.
"After delivering two mental health outreach projects, a need was identified that additional/complementary mental health services would be very useful for Cumberland County," she said. "With the support of CBDC, Service Canada and CANSA, we were able to pursue this endeavour."
Filming for the province-wide video project, aimed to create awareness of the mental health needs in Nova Scotia and to help eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness, began on Monday in Cape Breton and Pictou County, followed by stops later in the week in Cumberland County, Colchester County, the Halifax metro area, the Annapolis Valley and the South Shore.
The end product will be a 90-second video to be unveiled at the foundation's upcoming Festival of Trees annual fund-raiser planned for the last weekend in November. From that video, Palmeter said three 30-second spots would be cut for commercials planned for airtime on CTV.
Since 2006, the foundation has delivered roughly $575,000 in grants throughout Nova Scotia, much of it in rural parts of the province, according to Palmeter.
"The great thing with this video, and going around the province, is we're able to connect with some of these people after grants were delivered," he said.