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20 May 2020

Front Line Faces

by Syd Briscoe


Laura Hyde Foundation: “No Mask for Mental Health” - 66s

There's a second epidemic brewing amidst the chaos of Covid-19: a looming avalanche of mental health problems. While all of us have dealt with heightened anxiety over the past few months, front line workers have had far more intense crises to handle.

The persistent use of military terminology surrounding disease doesn't help. Patients 'battle' the virus and nurses 'wage war' despite a desperately underfunded health service, implying that those who die, somehow, just didn't fight hard enough. This makes it extra difficult for medical personnel to seek help for mental distress - if they step away from the battle, are they a coward?

This dilemma is neatly illustrated in this affecting film, which sees nurses wearing face masks explain a little of what they've been going through. The depersonalising effect of the mask is especially poignant, as their pain stays hidden behind both a physical and mental barrier. Those chiding teachers about being 'too cowardly' to prematurely open schools, take note.


Film Production: Thomas Thomas Ⓟ Ⓦ
Director: Kevin Thomas Ⓟ Ⓦ
Producer: Trent Simpson
Editor: Scot Crane Ⓦ @ The Quarry Ⓟ Ⓦ
Offline Producer: Tor Adams
Grade: Electric Theatre Collective Ⓟ Ⓦ
Sound Design: Factory Ⓟ Ⓦ

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