During Mental Health Awareness Week, MyFilmClub® (now available for free via the App Store and Google Play), which was founded on the principle of ‘cinema made social’, is hoping to be an enterprise which promotes awareness and help with bringing down barriers surrounding the stigma by sharing intimate stories from their staff who have all struggled with mental health issues.
From Founder Wez Merchant, who has been battling a balance disorder for 4 years, to reviewer Danny Ledger who’s battle against depression and aspergers was ultimately helped by his escape into the world of movies, providing him with a much needed lifeline “My love for film continues to grow, continues to fascinate and intrigue me, and most of all, keeps my mind on track and away from the trappings of the mental health abyss.”
Sarah Buddery, who also contributes reviews for MyFilmClub®, has said “When all I wanted to do was lie in bed, fighting with the thoughts in my own head which made me feel constantly on edge and wrought with anxiety, I would force myself to get in my car and drive to the cinema. I met my now boyfriend Martin through this wonderful online community, someone who is just as passionate about movies as I am (maybe even more so!), who has provided a constant support and rock in my most difficult times and continues to stand by me even when my anxiety is making it difficult. It is through movies, and through writing about movies, that I was able to meet Martin, and for that I am eternally grateful!.”
Fellow MyFilmClub® reviewer, Marie Ellis said “I have suffered from anxiety and depression over the years. It was during a spell of bad insomnia that I would chat to Wez on Facebook. We would check in on each other when we were both not feeling so great. Working with him on MyFilmClub® handed me a lifeline when I was at bad time in my life. Writing and feeling part of the MyFilmClub® team and community has helped me immensely as as well as offering me a creative outlet which i am incredibly passionate about”
During the week they will also be highlighting some of the most prevalent films surrounding mental health via their social media channels.
Film industry veteran Wez Merchant is available for interviews to discuss the app and how he initially conceived the idea during a debilitating illness which caused him to suffer with depression and anxiety himself. With the mental health issue stigma slowly eroding, MyFilmClub® is hoping to be an enterprise which promotes awareness and help with bringing down barriers around this issue. Wez Merchant says ‘Having been in the battle of my life, a battle which ultimately led to the creation of the MyFilmClub® community app, I have learnt it is very important to be open and honest regarding struggles you may have because it opens doors. It opens doors to conversations which may ultimately lead to you achieving breakthroughs you need on the road to recovery. It’s important to talk, to rejoin communities and get yourself involved in life again. This is why we are keen advocators of Mental Health Awareness Week and it’s aims. If our app and our messaging helps just one person then it has all been worth it’.
Wez and his fellow MyFilmClub® writers would be keen to discuss their experiences and the influence behind the app and how ideally they see it moving forward. Please do let us know should you be keen to discuss and speak with any of them.
The app, which launched last June, has currently been downloaded over 10,000 times and recently garnered some extra attention as it encourages those suffering from mental health disorders to seek help in social activities, namely venturing out to the cinema. With the summer movie season now in full swing and box office at an all-time high, the app is hoping it will see more of its users venture to their nearest multiplex to catch one of the summers big movies or head to outdoor film events such as Pop Up Screens or Rooftop Film Club.
MyFilmClub® is the UK’s first film app, with inbuilt social integration and has recently upgraded and re launched with a newer, sleeker and cleaner interface. Amongst it’s services, the app allows users to create clubs, watch trailers, find and book cinema tickets and the most impressive of all, chat to other film fans via the Clubs area. And it’s this ‘social’ element which really makes the app unique, especially for those suffering with social anxiety.
MyFilmClub® is available to download for free on iPhones, iPads and Android devices and mobile phones now via the App Store and Google Play.
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