The second of a three-part series created by Vice for giffgaff, Perspectives on Mental Health meets three young men and looks at how they use their passions to help them face mental health issues.
Directed by Yemi Bamiro, who has previously directed and produced work for clients including the BBC, Nike, MTV, Channel 4 and Puma, Perspectives on Mental Health focuses on Ashley Lane, a professional boxer, Faris Khalifa, an asylum seeker turned social worker and Alika Agidi-Jeffs, a musician.
“I was having severe nightmares and I was having issues sleeping,” Faris explains. “After seeing a psychiatrist for the first time, she diagnosed me with PTSD, anxiety and depression. It just felt like a label. But when I grew up and realised that I controlled my life and realised I controlled many others lives that whole boring taboo feeling went away.”
In particular, the film focuses on Ashley and Alika. As Ashley trains in his local gym in the lead up to a big match, he speaks about how boxing has enabled him to tackle depression. “Even when I was really low I never thought about going onto anti-depressants for me that doesn’t feel right”, he says. “The first thing I did [when I felt depressed] was get up and go for a run or go down the boxing gym and get myself back into the right environment”.
The film also follows musician Alika Agidi-Jeffs has he revisits Lambeth Hospital, where he was sectioned in early 2013. “For me, this is a place of growth, self-discovery, challenges that I overcame, so I feel positive about it,” he says. Later, we see him at Raw Materials, a music studio that works with young people with mental health issues, where he records a new track.
Reflecting giffgaff’s brand values of “people power”, Perspectives on Mental Health joins Perspectives on Housing in a series which intends to empower viewers to take charge of their personal circumstances.