Kofi Siriboe has a new short documentary and he wants it to help facilitate conversations surrounding black people and mental health.
The short doc, titled WTF Is Mental Health, is envisioned as a companion to his upcoming short film, Jump (his directorial debut). The documentary was co-produced by Mankaprr Conteh.
“I feel like with mental health, people always react negatively. We kinda have a lot of stigma in our community and in society in general I feel like that space wasn’t really created for us,” the Queen Sugar actor told HuffPost. “Making WTF Is Mental Health? has been a part of a healing process for me, one I’m still exploring. It’s the companion piece to ‘Jump,’ a short film I made after a mentor and big brother figure died by suicide, just before I got the call that I’d been cast in Queen Sugar. I started working on this beautiful, emotional show and felt how liberating it was to channel my fears into art. As I began to mold Jump, I realized the true conversation I was craving centered on young black people who are figuring out this mental health thing, too.”
WTF Is Mental Health? shows seven individuals talking about their mental health journeys and how they’ve been able to navigate their own paths. Siriboe said that his own struggle with mental health led him to do this project. “I didn’t really have the language, but I think it’s a mixture of anxiety, it’s a mixture of depression, it’s a mixture of general unease. Also sometimes, it’s just feeling isolated,” he described of his feelings and the “unhappiness” at “the height of his success when he was reaching his dreams.”
On mental health in the black community, Siriboe said, “If we don’t admit what’s going on to ourselves, we’re gonna keep hurting in silence, which is killing us twice as much as our Caucasian counterparts. No one is gonna talk about it because it’s taboo. That’s what I wanna end.”
Watch WTF Is Mental Health? below and read more at HuffPost: