Humber debuts student documentary on mental health and addiction

by | Mar 21, 2019 | Lakeshore, Life

Sydnee Walcott, Life Reporter

Life isn’t always perfect. Some people however fall into the abyss and it becomes a struggle to return.

Students in the Journalism Degree and Police Foundation programs at Humber College’s Lakeshore campus launched their documentary, The Struggle Back, on March 21, of those overcame the challenges of their mental health issues and addictions.

The audience at the March 21 event watches as Steve, one of the participants, shares his story about his addiction to alcohol, which started at a young age. (Sydnee Walcott)

The individuals in the films also discuss how justice, law enforcement and services providers can help those who are struggling with addiction.

Two out of the three participants in the film attended the launch of the film.

Richard Skipper said being interviewed for this documentary was challenging for him.

“Some of the memories were difficult,” Skipper said. When sharing his story he said he felt as if he was reliving the difficult memories.

The students who had took part in the making the film have not just only enjoyed the experience of putting the film together, but they’ve also felt as if they’ve learned something from the experience that would benefit them in the future.

Richard Skipper, one the participants of this film, attended the launch of the film held on March 21. (Sydnee Walcott

“Throughout the entire process I was really able to learn a lot about the system and I was also able to learn a lot about other programs and telling powerful stories,” said Melissa Krikke, a graduate of the Journalism Degree program. She said participating in the documentary was a powerful experience for her to tell an important story along with a community partner, the professors and the school.

Connor McCullough, a Police Foundations student, said taking part in the creating of this film was an eye-opening experience for him.

The making of this documentary not only helped him learn about film making, but he also learned about people’s experiences and what it was like to go through mental illness and addictions. McCullough said this experience will help him later on when he becomes a police officer.

“I gained a new found appreciation for people like these,” said Gulzar Wander, a Journalism Degree student. He said even though he thought he had a really good grasp on mental illnesses and addictions, he appreciates seeing people who are brave enough to tell their story.

The Police Foundation and the Journalism degree programs began their collaboration to produce the documentary in January 2018.