Putting the ‘Hope’ into Mental Health

Six short films exploring the theme of hope are to be launched on the run-up to World Mental Health Day.

Led by Dundee charity Front Lounge, the films mark the second phase of the charity’s Foolish Optimism project which, last year, saw the launch of a film and 26-stop national roadshow touring aimed at sparking more discussion of mental health throughout Scotland.

With the Foolish Optimism film focused on the harsh realities of mental health challenges, the working group decided to switch the focus to hope as World Mental Health Day approaches on 10 October 2019.

They have since made a suite of six short films – Foolish Optimism: Hope in Action – one to be released each week culminating on 10 October, exploring the positive steps young people can take to feel better, and manage their conditions more effectively.

The second film, shot in Eden Locke, Edinburgh, will be released on Monday 9 September 2019, on the eve of World Suicide Prevention Day. Entitled ‘Things to Live For’, the film captures Edinburgh-based Daniella James and her friend Andrew Compston having an everyday about the strategies to ‘keep going’ and the opportunities to stay positive in everyday life.

Andrew Compston and Daniella James


Daniella, who also contributed to the Foolish Optimism tour and working group said, “We’ve made a really informal, intimate film which could echo any everyday chat in a café with friends. Mental health is often associated with crisis and suicide but our film is about normalising conversations around mental health, as opposed to only airing it when things reach crisis point. We start off talking about the little things that cause us mild stress, leading up to the larger life events which can spiral into more severe mental health issues. We also talk about the little coping strategies we use on a day-to-day basis and the support you can gain from friends and family, finishing up with hopes and fears for the future.”

The films have been made by Nathan Inatimi, supported by Jack Stewart, Shona Inatimi and Andrew Brough all part of The Aperture Project, also a Front Lounge initiative with support from Sonia Napolitano, Elixabele Riley, Rhian Malcolm and Ailsa Purdie.

Nathan said, “The original Foolish Optimism film was a very honest and brutal reflection of mental health which encouraged hundreds if not thousands of very important and moving conversations throughout Scotland.
“Regardless of where we showed the film, it resonated with everyone who watched it and one of the consistent themes which came up was the difficulty in accessing services so we decided to take the film to the next stage and air some productive and more optimistic themes around a topic which is so often associated with crisis and doom. Although emotional at times, these films are more upbeat, even funny at times.

Nathan Inatimi

“Essentially, it’s hard to get help – and can take a lot of time – so what can people do to weather the storm in the meantime and how can they help themselves and stop things spiralling? This suite of short films, all featuring young people struggling with their own mental health, will help explore that, and hopefully give a sense of hope to anyone watching.”

For more information, and to watch the first and future films, please visit https://www.foolishoptimism.org

For support in dealing with mental health issues please visit:



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