Mental health issues like anxiety and depression are still not taken seriously by many. People are hesitant to open up in front of family or friends and going to a therapist still has plenty of stigma associated with it. ‘Chuvadu’, a short film by Kochi-based IT entrepreneur Sajeev Krishnamenon, addresses these issues and tries to create awareness regarding mental health and how to seek help.The short film narrates the life of an IT professional named George who suffers from bipolar disorder.
His sister takes him to their family doctor when he starts behaving differently and tries to get him timely treatment. “Family should be the first to identify someone who starts exhibiting symptoms of mental illness. The second step is to take that person to a doctor. In the third stage, the patient meets the psychiatrist and realises facts about his illness and the treatment pattern he/she has to undergo,” says Sajeev.
He adds that there will be some points that only the family can know and fix. “The support from family is very crucial in recovering from mental illness. From identification to recovery of the disease, the family has to support and appreciate the patient. This is the plot of the film,” says Sajeev, who also wrote the script. Kishore Kumar, Anitha Thomas, Kamukara Sreehari and Sunil Paul form the main cast of the short film produced by Pramod Thevannoor and Deepak Gopakumar.
‘Chuvadu’ is the first directorial venture from Sajeev, who runs a software firm in Kochi.”My firm develops software for many hospitals. I always wanted to do a short film which was socially relevant. I met psychiatrist V P Radhakrishnan after the storyline was made. The script was developed after continuous interactions with him,” he says. Sangeeth Mathews cranked the camera, Sabarish Menon scored the music and editing was handled by Rizal Jainy.
Sajeev says that it is important that people should accept mental illness like any other physical illness and get the help they need. “I believe the stigma has come down to a great extent. Proper communication is needed and we must help the person fight his demons. Recoveries are more in India as we have a strong family system.”