By Rachana Iyer:
‘Dear Mental Health Ally’ is the debut spoken word film of Rhyme With Reason, a collaboration between poet, Ray Iyer and filmmaker, Rohan Sabharwal.
The piece talks about the experiences and frustrations of people with mental disorders and illnesses on a day to day basis, whether to do with preconceived notions or blatant stigma, sometimes even from those with good intentions. No matter how many bills are introduced or amended, people with mental disorders rarely come out and discuss their condition and experiences for fear of being judged, ostracised and every action or reaction henceforth being attributed to their illness. To add to it, irresponsible statements made by influencers like lawmakers (Like: people with mental illnesses are not capable of working) and celebrities, who often take to social media with ignorant comments on suicides and suicide attempts, attributing them to weakness, cowardice and selfishness and mostly the inability to face the ups and downs in life – which couldn’t be further from the truth.
Furthermore, when medicine fails to work or people are wrongly diagnosed/prescribed with medication, desperate and gullible families sometimes turn to pseudoscience, quacks and godmen, who in turn further deplete these families financially.
Both collaborators have experienced what this piece speaks about first hand and hope that more people will come out and accept their conditions and discuss their experiences.