World Community presents a special film screening of War in the Mind on Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. in the Stan Hagen Theatre at North Island College.
Throughout history the lasting psychological effects of war have taken a terrible toll on soldiers and their families, but until the 1980s, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was unrecognized as a treatable injury. Sufferers were derided as malingers — or even shot for desertion.
Today, there has been some positive change in recognizing operational stress injury.
As the startlingly high number of military suicides in Canada, USA and the U.K. are starting to come to light, it is clear that there is much work to be done to educate both the public and the military and to increase access to treatment.
War in the Mind takes us into the heart of the issue by giving voice to soldiers who have, with incredible courage, allowed the filmmakers complete access into their lives, their thoughts and their treatment in the hope that more of their colleagues will step forward and seek help.
In an intimate and candid interview, Senator and retired general Roméo Dallaire elaborates on and guides us through the experience of operational stress injury.
We also hear from the mothers of three young soldiers in three countries whose sons ended their lives — soldiers whose service to their countries has gone unnoticed and unheralded — the ones who are slipping through the cracks.
Director Judy Jackson’s compassionate film takes the viewer beyond the five-minute stories on the evening news and towards a greater understanding of PTSD, allowing us to witness sessions of a unique therapeutic program for soldiers that helps to unwind some of the trauma.
This kind of successful treatment promises great hope for the future — hope that more soldiers can turn away from desperation and thoughts of suicide and return to life with their families.
Watch the trailer for this 64-minute film at www.mcnabbconnolly.ca/titles/4840/war_in_the_mind.
Admission Jan. 8 is by donation. Everyone is welcome.
Counsellors will be in attendance for a discussion after the film.
For more information, phone 250-337-5412.
— World Community