Manuals and toolkits: Mental health film series and toolkit

In the Visualising Peace project, three participatory films were produced in collaboration with MAP school children in Rwanda and students and staff at the Kwetu film institute. The MAP school children chose to work with three themes on the topic of mental health. Mental Health in schools, Mental health in the family and street connected mental health. This film focuses on Mental Health in Schools. The films were screened in December 2023 and a set of toolkit was produced to promote discussion around the subjects. Watch the three films below and find the toolkit at the end of this page. Let us know what you think!

Mental Health in Education: ‘The Poem, Umuvugo’

The film is based on a real story, with the narrative built around a poem they wrote together, using the inner voice of the main character. In the poem the main character is disconnected from her peers, and not engaging in school. The participants wanted to communicate that teachers often dismiss disengaged young people as problematic, and they are punished. The call to action asked for teachers to understand that disengagement might be based on challenges and to consider ways to be supportive and to uncover underlying issues. In the poem, a teacher reaches out and connects with the main character and she starts a journey of recovery.

Mental Health in the home: ‘Sound on the Hill’

In this film, the participants wanted to show that family conflict causes young people distress, which can lead to anxiety and depression. They say that the people around them have the power to help and support. Their message is ‘get involved, be active, reach in and help us, don’t wait for us to reach out.’ The participants decided that they would follow the personal story of one of the group members. In the film she struggles with an abusive step-mother. The girl flees the family home to get some fresh air and respite from the situation. While running she meets a friend who supports her, through this support she realises that she has value as a person and can manage.

Street Connected Mental Health: ‘This is My Story’

Participants created a powerful story that wove together the real life experiences of the group members. In their experience on the streets, the street connected young people felt that they were often dismissed and stigmatised. They emphasised that no young person chooses to be on the streets, each street connected child has an individual story. The call to action emphasised the need for street connected young people to be treated with empathy and for their rights to be addressed.

Mental Health Film Screening Toolkit

The materials in this toolkit are designed to be used in alongside the videos produced by the young people from the MAP – UMVA Visualising Peace project.

Included are:

  • A session plan for a screening and group discussion
  • A presentation to introduce the session and its aims
  • Worksheets and activities

This toolkit is designed to enable organisations and groups to facilitate workshops using the videos, stimulating dialogue around the themes of mental health in the home, education and street connected mental health.

More on this project


Visualising Peace

Using film-making and art exhibitions to address the barriers young people face in engaging and influencing community members and policymakers.

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