New Trailer: Respond explores mental health on the pandemic frontline

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A series of films exploring the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare workers is premiering on the 27th April during Melbourne Knowledge Week at the State Library Victoria.

Each of the films in the Respond series is a unique collaboration between a healthcare worker responding to COVID-19, and a filmmaker in isolation because of it. The result is eight very different, but equally affecting films — including drama, documentary, animation, and comedy.

Executive Producer Michelle Joy said traumatic events are a fact of life in healthcare, with frontline workers suffering higher levels of anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

“Our healthcare system is only as healthy as its workforce,” she says. “Yet workers rarely get the help they need, due to ongoing stigma around mental health.”

Respond takes viewers on a moving journey behind the surgical masks of our frontline workers, while giving them an opportunity to feel connected and heard. 

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“We’ve come to see healthcare workers as modern day heroes during COVID-19, but they’re people just like us. I wanted to do justice to the intense challenges they face every single day with the images I used,” said filmmaker Ryan Alexander Lloyd.

Emergency Nurse Abbey Fistrovic said of her film — “It’s a very powerful and necessary perspective, especially with the public misconception of what’s going on for us.”

The films are an integral part of the groundbreaking RMHive, an app which supports the wellbeing of frontline workers who are exposed to trauma regularly.

This event is part of Melbourne Knowledge Week, 26 April – 2 May 2021, proudly presented by the City of Melbourne, in association with The University of Melbourne.

ABC Radio’s award-winning Libbi Gorr will host a Q&A discussion with a selection of filmmakers and healthcare workers following the screening. 

Filmmakers: Michael Gupta, Kiara Milera, Alice Stephens, Kalu Oji, Ryan Alexander Lloyd, Barathan Vidhyapathy, Barun Chatterjee, Naomi Mendoza

You can find tickets to the event here.

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