With his new movie Speak to Me, Dix Hills artist Kurt Damas hopes to shed light on men’s mental health

The grief that adopted the dying of his shut buddy Kurt Damas final 12 months modified his view of psychological well being.

The loss he skilled was a catalyst for Damas, who had additionally misplaced his uncle, to write down and direct a movie that he hoped would assist begin a dialog about it. Psychological well beingParticularly amongst males. “Communicate to Me,” which premieres at Sayville Cinemas on February 16, is about two younger adults who should learn to overcome grief whereas additionally coping with the stigma of openness.

“You develop up considering, ‘Properly, I’ve to be robust as a result of I am a person.'” And actually, you should not be robust or sit in ache or no matter, you need to categorical these emotions,” mentioned Damas, 34, of Dix Hills.

Kurt Damas pictured with his best friend Barry Ingram ...

Kurt Damas, pictured, together with his shut buddy Barry Ingram, whose dying impressed Damas to write down and direct Discuss to Me.
Credit score: Randy Dadona

Co-director, producer and co-writer Trevor Jackson, 32 – who additionally knew Damas’ buddy Barry Ingram, who died unexpectedly on the age of 30 – mentioned the script highlights “the worth of utilizing your circle, your soul, your neighborhood to seek out somebody to speak to when undergo issues.”

‘discuss to me’

The movie will probably be proven at 6:00 pm on Thursday, February 16, at Cyville Cinemas. Tickets could be bought on-line at speaktomethefilm.com.


You probably have ideas of suicide, name one among these numbers instantly for assist:

Household Service League – Hotline 24/7: 631-952-3333

Lengthy Island Disaster Heart in Belmore – 24/7 Disaster Hotline: 516-679-1111

Disaster textual content line: Textual content HOME to 741741

Household Service Affiliation and Challenge Joe Disaster Motion Group – 1-888-FSL-CCAT (1-888-375-2228)

Jackson highlighted his analysis on psychological well being, significantly inside the African-American neighborhood, whereas writing the movie. He mentioned that many individuals wrestle in silence.

“Numerous instances within the African American neighborhood, issues are stored, as a result of there is a taboo round psychological well being or being good, particularly for black males,” mentioned Jackson, of the Bay Shore. “We maintain it, we do not discuss to anybody about it. And that is what the film is about. Discuss to me, discuss to somebody, about what you are going by means of.”

Males extra likeable to die by suicide in america, though girls usually tend to search psychological well being care, with a couple of in 4 girls, or 28.6%, receiving psychological well being remedy in 2021 in comparison with 17.8% of males, in line with Newest statistics Obtainable on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

Nevertheless, Karen Borstein, president and CEO of the Household Providers Affiliation, mentioned the stigma surrounding males looking for psychological well being care could have eased in recent times. She mentioned each women and men search psychological well being providers from the Lengthy Island nonprofit at an equal fee.

“Usually, I feel increasingly discuss is being made about psychological well being,” she mentioned, emphasizing the provision of sources. “The message is, get assist. Ask questions of buddies or kinfolk in case you see they’re feeling actually down to ensure they do not damage themselves.”

Melvina Ward, proprietor of Enterprise Options, Inc. In St. James, as a funeral director within the film and offered the funeral dwelling as a set. I reached out to share after seeing a publish in regards to the movie on social media.

“I feel it is very, essential that individuals perceive that individuals deal with issues otherwise…and that there must be an open dialogue about this,” mentioned Ward, 47.

Damas mentioned he’s “fortunate” to have a robust help system of family and friends he can rely on.

I’m not a psychologist or psychiatrist. However I feel if we discuss extra to one another, if we’re each susceptible and open about what’s actually happening, we are able to cease folks from happening this path of suicide,” he mentioned.

You probably have ideas of suicide, name the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the opposite businesses listed under.

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