Art with Impact returns with Movies for Mental Health

Adrianna Adame, News Reporter

The goal of Movies for Mental Health is to erase the stigma of mental illness by showing three short films, having a open group discussion and having a guest talk about conquering mental illness.

Art with Impact, an organization that focuses on creating discussions and showing films about mental health came to CSUSM to host Movies for Mental Health for a third year at the Reading Room at Kellogg Library on the fifth floor on Sept. 26 at 6 p.m.

The three short films shown at this event were Blue directed by Samuel Leon, Sal Tran directed by Kim Huynh and A Short Film About Anxiety directed by Lily Rose Thomas and Stephan Isaac-Wilson.

Blue is about substance abuse and conquering the inner demons of addiction.

Sal Tran is about a non-binary queer Vietnamese individual who dealt with mental illness regarding their identity. In Tran’s despair, she attempted suicide several times before overcoming her depression and using her platform to educate and inform people about her experience.

A Short Film About Anxiety is about different perspectives of anxiety from a different number of diverse people.

“My favorite film was Blue because of the clear way it was shot and the motion of the shots,” visual arts major Edgar Avila-Casillas said.

He said Blue was his favorite film because, “in a specific shot we see the main character looking into the fridge and seeing one beer in there and she looks concerned… as the camera comes around the fridge is now completely filled with beer bottle and the character is now terrified. I loved this shot. It was visually intriguing and evoked the feeling of concern within myself.”

After the short films, two students and staff from the Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) and San Diego Heart and Human Services Agency discussed in the panel about mental illness experiences and the resources available on and off campus.

The student panelists were Bianca Corado and Meghan Young, Dr. Kevin Choi, a postdoctoral intern at the SHCS and Dr. Danyte Mockus-Valenzuela, a planning and prevention manager at the County of San Diego Heart and Human Services Agency.

Corado, a psychology major and Hope and Wellness Peer at the Hope and Wellness Center, told her story about her struggles with mental health. During her transition to transfer to CSUSM last academic year, her admission was revoked days before the fall 2017 semester began. Corado said,“it took a toll on my mental health and the turning point of when I decided to get some help.”

She advised students who are struggling with mental illness to not, “be afraid to reach out to anyone. Utilize the opportunity to see the psychologists at the Hope and Wellness Center for free. If you know someone who is struggling with mental health, check in on them every now and then whether it’d be via text, email, phone call or face to face.”

Movies for Mental Health provided a place for students to discuss the stigma of mental illness while also showing films that depicted mental illness in a more realistic way. For more information students can visit Art with Impact’s website at