Paul McKenzie took seven young people over the half term and embarked on a massive film project to highlight the need for more focus on mental health, they didn’t use knives, they didn’t need guns, all that was needed was a passion to change the narrative and a drive for change.
The young people chose to address the mental health issue. So many young people are displaying early signs of mental health challenges and it is this that has inspired the making of the short film SICK. To reduce stigma, mental health needs to be seen as something that concerns us all. Using film as a platform offers a chance to bring mental health into the spotlight and raise awareness on the indicators that young people can identify with and seek help.
The Short film SICK went on to be screened exclusively at the National Gallery, making history in black history month by being the first short screenplay to ever be screened at the National Gallery. It has also been selected for awards at other festivals across the globe.
The latest project enables more young people to access training and experience in media and film, with the emphasis of accrediting these workshops for young people that find it hard to access mainstream education. These workshops will promote and enable young people to become more confident in many areas of their lives.
Paul has five sons and understands the need to be congruent in his approach to helping other young people to overcome challenges they may be facing. Paul remains proud to have contributed to some major changes in the way we address specific issues that challenge communities, especially the issues that affect our youth.