“I had a mother who was working on her masters in Social Work and she taught me the importance of taking care of my mental health before a crisis occurred and how to seek appropriate help. Unfortunately for many of us as black people we don’t know what to do so we tuck all of our anxieties and problems and hide them under the kitchen sink hoping they won’t be exposed or seen.” Writer-director Darnell Lamont Walker‘s documentary film, ‘Outside The House: A Mental Health Documentary’ is a film that is not about statistics, or science, or theories, or practices. Featuring several African-Americans sharing their stories of mental health, mental illness, and healing it’s about mental health and courageously sharing our stories so others will know they are not alone.
“For so long we’ve been unfamiliar with the language of asking for help that we don’t know how to explain the conditions of our souls. No one told us how to do this. We don’t air the dirty laundry. If the dirty laundry is not pulled from beneath the piles underneath the bag how is it ever dealt with?” This film is a kind of therapy. It is brave men and women sharing their stories, pains, truths, and struggles as they deal with mental illness, showing others they are not alone.
“I don’t have the strength to go on.” For many people in this country that believe that mental illness doesn’t exist in the black community, this documentary seeks to shed light of that stigma and show that it is a reality for some. It’s about what’s happened to us, what will happen to our children, and breaking cycles that are killing us in dark places. “It’s fine to feel this way, it is fine to be open with therapy and medications and that it is okay for us to walk out and dance in the sun ‘Outside The House.’” The documentary was released January 4, 2017 and is an official selection for the Charlotte Black Film Festival.
Source: Vimeo, IMDb