Poetry in motion as Rotherham producers release mental health awareness film

ROTHERHAM-BASED film producers have released a short film as part of Mental Health Awareness Week reminding people “It’s okay not to be okay”.

LensGo Visual Media has produced Life and Soul of the Party, featuring representatives from South Yorkshire businesses, bands and organisations reading a poem, to raise awareness and help “change the stigma”. 

The company has worked with high-profile brands including Virgin Media and multi-million selling rock band Def Leppard, as well as locally with Rotherham United, Gullivers theme park at Rother Valley, and Maltby Learning Trust. 

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In 2019 the company became the first business ambassadors for mental health charity Rotherham and Barnsley Mind. 

The short film is a poem by Tracey Ford — who writes about her experiences of addiction and recovery — presented by Shaun Doane of local band The Everly Pregnant Brothers. It also features Paul Gosney from City Taxis, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce’s Louisa Harrison-Walker, Mick Hartley from KickBack Recovery, and LensGo’s Stuart Turner. 

Stuart, the managing director of LensGo, said: “Life and Soul of the Party is the next video in our #itsokaynottobeokay series. 

“This is the third year I have produced something around mental health awareness and still one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem.  

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“We want to get more people talking and to show it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, mental health can affect anyone. 

“As a company we want to change the stigma and for people to understand it’s okay not to be okay, and that help is always available. 

“Mental health awareness is more than a week — it’s all year round.”

Stuart, who is also a trustee at Thornberry Animal Sanctuary, added: “In South Yorkshire, I do feel people are beginning to talk more openly about mental health and a lot of businesses are taking mental health awareness more seriously in the work place and being proactive to offer support.  

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“Since Covid it’s great to see more amazing local organisations open to offering talking groups for men and women. This year has also seen more local campaigns around awareness and prevention which have saved lives. 

“Nationally we are also seeing celebrities like footballers and musicians talking so openly about their own mental health, too — something I don’t think would have happened before lockdowns and Covid. 

“Although there is a long way to go to change the stigma, I do feel more and more people are realising how important good mental health is at every stage of life.”