Mental Health Awareness Month: A Night with Sound of Metal

By Maria Kamau

“Your mental health is everything, prioritize it. Make the time like your life depends on it, because it does.” - Mel Robbin

May is internationally regarded as Mental Health Awareness Month. To give this month the recognition it deserves, the Peer Educators and Counselors Club (PECC), in partnership with the Counseling Center, held a week-long event aimed at creating mental health awareness and recognizing the struggles that those who live with various forms of mental health issues go through, and how we can support them and ourselves. On Thursday, May 30, PECC screened the ‘Sound of Metal’ at the auditorium to culminate the week-long event.

The evening began with a warm welcome from the event organizers as well as signing up and distribution of complimentary popcorn for the first 150 people. As people signed up, they were welcomed with handwritten notes of hope, kindness, love, confidence and gratitude. Moreover, they were given an opportunity to leave a kind note to a stranger which each individual picked on their way out.

The movie, ‘Sound of Metal’ was selected because it delves deep into themes of identity, acceptance, and the struggle to adapt to life's unexpected changes, making it a perfect choice for a mental health awareness event. With the use of the film's inventive sound design, the audience was able to experience the world through Reuben's (the main character) ears, which alternated between the loud noise of his drumming and the deafening silence caused by his hearing loss. This immersive experience brought a deeper understanding of the protagonist's internal struggle.

The impact of this event was profound. By screening 'Sound of Metal', the PEEC club created a space for empathy and education, allowing attendees to gain a deeper understanding of the emotional and psychological challenges faced by those living with mental health issues. The movie's powerful themes and immersive sound design helped bridge the gap between awareness and experience, by allowing the audience to walk in Reuben’s shoes. The thoughtful gestures of handwritten welcome notes, and the opportunity to write a kind note to a stranger, further enhanced the sense of community and support. This event not only raised awareness but also inspired attendees to actively participate in promoting mental health and supporting those in need. Ultimately, the success of this event underscored the importance of such initiatives in building a more understanding and supportive society.

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