After #TalkFest I attended #MedFest. I bloody love a good #Fest. It was all about how medicine and health are interpreted through film; and I found it really interesting as it's kind of what I do in my day job. I'll keep this one brief, but props to the people who organised it, the panel was very interesting and it gave me plenty of food for thought. Here are some of the videos that we watched at the event, and that I would highly recommend.

This is an intriguing film about 'obesity' made by the British Medical Association in 1967


Safe to say - They don't make 'em like this anymore. Is that a good or a bad thing?

Part Two and Three here

A really brilliant example of a more modern video, made as part of the Animated Minds series is here. They got a real OCD sufferer to tell his story, and then animated it. It was a collaborative production between sufferer and director, designed to ensure that it gave a genuine reflection of a complicated condition. I think it's great. It's used to help families and friends, as well as medical professionals, understand mental health conditions. We know that such conditions can be difficult for non-sufferers to identify with, and consequently empathise with.  The director, Andy Glynne, remarked that animations have a great way of telling one person's story, without making it just about that person. It's also used to help sufferers appreciate that they are not alone and that there are people who improve and learn to cope with things that at times feel insurmountable. 

A while back a friend sent me a video of Jonathan Benjamin, who was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder (a combination of schizophrenia and depression) in 2007. He was keen to document his journey toward recovery because, when he was at his lowest ebb, he never heard talk of people getting better. The patient view is really important, and I think videos like this, as well as animated minds, can help us all to appreciate other people's perspectives, essential in order to validate other people's experiences.

It's interesting to reflect on how our attitudes to health are shaped by these types of media. A key thought that I left with is that, in the information age, the rules are changing so much; that the medium needs as much thought as the message. I marvel to think what our 1967 counterparts would think about shows like 'Embarrassing Bodies'.