Friday, October 1, 2010

SCARF presents International Film Festival on Mental Health 2010

The International film festival on mental health started today at the Film Chamber, Anna Salai. This film festival has been organized for the third year in Chennai by Schizophrenia Research Foundation (SCARF). Padmabhushan Dr.Smt. Sarada Menon, founder of SCARF and first woman psychiatrist of India, lighted a lamp to start the function.

Dr. Sarada Menon went onto explain as to why the film festival was named "Frame of Mind." How a person responded to a stimulus or situation depends and also varies with his/her frame of mind or mood. She went on to give an example of how an old man does not like a curry( he assumes his daughter-in-law cooked it) and within few minutes accepts that the dish is tasty when he finds out that his daughter cooked it! One more example she gave was of how parents yield to demands of children when there are repeated requests. Same stimulus but different response due to good mood.

SCARF always showed a Malayalam film at the beginning of each film festival. This year also they started the festival with a Malayalam film titled "Vadakkunokkiyanthram" (Northern Compass). The film starring actors Srinivas and Parvathy in the lead, depicts the irrational behavior of a suspicious husband who wants to win over the love of his newly wed wife. The modest audience of about 60+ in the hall were always laughing due to the hilarious but failed attempts of Srinivas to attract his calm and laid back wife. Srinivas makes crank calls, hits people with rods, registers a complaint in the police station, fights with his younger brother, and also hallucinates. However, the film takes a serious turn for the last few minutes when Srini goes to mental hospital and the couples are estranged. A very nice, entertaining, and funny movie with a nice message that any movie goer can watch.

At the end of the movie, doctors and audience participated in a group discussion. Later, they screened a set of short films on mental health, short-listed for an award. The film festival continues tomorrow (Oct 2nd) and on Oct 3rd and the entry is free. So, all of you grab the chance.

Few facts about mental illness: Mental illness(MI) is mostly a biochemical and genetic condition and most of the times medicines are needed. Stress need not trigger MI. MI can precipitate even in normal conditions. MI is not cured by marriage. Rather, marriage can alleviate the condition if medicines are not taken.

Major Variations of Schizophrenia

Dr.Sarada Menon

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