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 demise of his shut pal 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 jot 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, ‘Effectively, I’ve to be powerful as a result of I am a person.'” And actually, you should not be powerful or sit in ache or no matter, you need to specific these emotions,” mentioned Damas, 34, of Dix Hills.

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

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

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

‘discuss to me’

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


When you’ve got ideas of suicide, name one among these numbers instantly for assist:

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

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

Disaster textual content line: Textual content HOME to 741741

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

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

“Plenty of occasions within the African American group, issues are saved, 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 hold 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 way of.”

Males extra likeable to die by suicide in the US, 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, based on 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 searching for psychological well being care might have eased lately. She mentioned each women and men search psychological well being providers from the Lengthy Island nonprofit at an equal price.

“Generally, I believe an increasing number of discuss is being made about psychological well being,” she mentioned, emphasizing the provision of sources. “The message is, get assist. Ask questions of associates or family when you see they’re feeling actually down to ensure they do not harm themselves.”

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

“I believe it’s totally, crucial that folks perceive that folks 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 believe if we discuss extra to one another, if we’re each susceptible and open about what’s actually happening, we will cease folks from happening this path of suicide,” he mentioned.

When you’ve got ideas of suicide, name the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the opposite businesses listed beneath.

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