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Production   /  Helen Newman

SOLSTICE

When 15yo Mary died by suicide her parents began a journey to shine a light on the darkest night of their lives

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Impact areas

HEALTH & WELLBEING

HUMAN RIGHTS & SOCIAL JUSTICE

YOUTH & EDUCATION

Crew

  • DIRECTOR Helen Newman

  • PRODUCER Helen Newman

Synopsis

DURATION: 90 MINUTES

When 15 year-old Mary Baker died by suicide her parents embarked on a journey to shine a light on the darkest night of their lives.
‘Solstice’ is a hopeful, determined and positive story of change that can come out of a most heartbreaking tragedy. Beginning with the story of Mary’s parents, Annette and Stuart Baker, the film expands out to journey across Australia documenting the stories of those who are daily on the frontline in the battle for better mental health care - the survivors of suicide.
This film bravely steps into the gaping hole left when a person dies by suicide to begin conversations, unite communities and ignite positive change.

Support this project

1.66% funded
  • $65,000.00

    FUNDING GOAL
  • $1,079.00

    FUNDS RAISED
  • September 2020

    PROJECT ENDS
  • 4

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Donations

Christina plummer $50.00
Anonymous $1,000.00
Anas choufih $4.00
Bron Kouw $25.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

There are more than 8 deaths by suicide each day in Australia and for every death by suicide it is estimated that as many as 30 people attempt to end their lives.

Death by suicide leaves countless families, friends and communities to deal with the aftermath, yet resources and support are sadly lacking and conversations around suicide are still surrounded by stigma and isolation. Too often families and friends are left to struggle through their own grief, survival and healing alone.

For some families they also find themselves on the frontline of the battle for better mental health care which their own sons, daughters, mothers and fathers were unable to access.

Impact

What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Begin conversations.
Unite communities.
Ignite Change.

‘Solstice’ aims to bring the voices of survivors of suicide to communities around Australia to help create the changes we need in mental health care at every level.

Outcomes

What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

We aim to create a strong focus point for conversation, healing and change.
Outcomes we want the film to achieve are:
- support at an individual and family level for those who are experiencing mental health issues and may be at risk of suicide
- greater support at community level to encourage a more proactive approach to responding to a community's mental health needs
- add to the momentum to create change at a policy level which would see parity in resources for mental and physical well being.

Stakeholders

How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

AS THIS PROJECT HAS EVOLVED WE HAVE PARTNERED WITH SOME INCREDIBLE ORGANISATIONS WORKING IN THE MENTAL HEALTH AND SUICIDE PREVENTION SPACE.
Survivors of Suicide and Friends — Survivors of Suicide and Friends is an Albury based organisation whose aim is to bring the subject of suicide and mental illness into the public forum to be addressed without shame or stigma.
Australians for Mental Health — AFMH is a people’s movement fighting to fix the broken system. They are the 4 million Australians with mental ill-health, their family, and friends.
Beechworth to Bridge - B2B’s mission is to remove the stigma of suicide, improve the process of healing and promote the concept that depression is treatable and suicide is preventable.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

Our hope is that this film will create increased understanding and empathy amongst viewers as well as beginning conversations that break through the stigma and silence surrounding suicide. It is from an informed position that communities can work together to support one another and seek the change required at policy level for better mental health service delivery.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Indicators for success are:
-Attendance numbers and media coverage of the film’s Work in Progress preview screening on November 23rd, 2019
-If acquired by broadcasters it will be accessed nation-wide and viewing stats will be available to indicate reach and engagement
-Level of demand from other communities to access the film
We will know we have achieved our impact vision if the film becomes one of the resources used to ensure everyone has access to adequate and appropriate mental health care.

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