I made a film tackling the stigma of schizophrenia.
I have experienced the heartache of witnessing a family member battle schizophrenia. My sister Charlene was diagnosed with the condition at the age of 16. It was a very difficult and painful time. We knew something was wrong but couldn’t put a label on what was actually happening to her, we were very much in the dark.
I’ve since learned that early diagnosis is key to recovery. As a filmmaker, I wanted to make a film which would help people identify the symptoms of the early onset of schizophrenia and encourage them to get help. I also wanted to do something to reduce the stigma and shame associated with mental illness.
My film ‘Maybe the Devil’ is in two parts. The first shows a young man experiencing confusing and frightening symptoms, and, without help, spiralling out of control. The second part shows what would happen to the same man if he was diagnosed as schizophrenic and got proper treatment.
I know I’m not going to change things single-handedly, but I wanted to do what I could do using my skills to focus on mental health onscreen. I hope to make people ask questions about the knowledge of the condition and also our perceptions of mental health.