My goal was to create story that showed some of the daunting incidents mental health workers face. My media project is vaguely based on experiences I’ve had while working in the mental health field. The unpredictable nature of those suffering mental illnesses makes knowing exactly what to do in a difficult situation very challenging. Workers are often trying their best to handle the situation and experience is key. Sometimes it works out well, like in the story, other times it does not. The essential story of the project is a person new to the field dealing with a frightening situation started by a very simple mistake. In the end, the protagonist comes out on the other side with more experience and a little more confidence in himself. A major point is the idea of doing something that does not come naturally in that kind of situation. There’s a lot of that in the mental health field—having to overcome instincts, like trying to rationalize with an irrational person. Very often, the less one says or does, the easier the situation is resolved, but that often contrary to what we do naturally.

My goal in creating this work was to demonstrate the experiences of mental health workers to those whom may not know what it’s like. The mental hospital pictured at the beginning and is Western Mental Health Institute in Bolivar, TN. I visited patients there on several occasions, but never actually worked there. However, the place has left a deep impression on me. Nothing within the digital story happened, per se, but is based on experiences I’ve had working with individuals. I have had clients begin screaming at me over what I perceived as insignificant verbal interaction but it triggered something in them. The questionnaire mentioned is only a device to move the story along, I’m not aware of a form like this being used in a real setting. I say this so experienced professional understand why the form is in there, but it’s those unfamiliar with the field to which I’m trying to communicate. I hope the message I was trying to convey comes through.

I chose this form of storytelling because I found it effective and easy to use. The map, script and table were the longest parts of development. Creating the piece itself only took a few hours. This is only my first time creating a digital media presentation and my second time using the movie making program, so I’m still learning how to use it effectively. I’m painfully aware of technical and presentation errors that demonstrate my neophyte status. That said, I really did enjoy the process of creating it. It is really simple and I think almost anyone could easily create their own pieces. I think this would be great tool for helping children learn to create and present stories, but I also think this would work well in a mental health setting to help people express themselves and communicate. I’m excited to try my hand at doing more of these and helping others do so as well. I hope over time to become more adept at creating a smoothed and polished final project.

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