Expert Panel to Discuss LGBT Mental Health, Suicide Prevention at Spectrum 10

On Tuesday, June 17, Painting the Spectrum 10, the tenth annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) film festival hosted by the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), will screen a documentary from India, called And The Unchained. The film chronicles the events surrounding the suicide of two young girls in Nandigram, one of the interior villages in West Bengal. As the story unfolds of their love affair, non-acceptance of the village community, as well as their families, became evident. To deal with such ‘abnormality’, one of the girls was married off in a hurry, which perhaps pushed them towards the end of the road – committing suicide. But their death did not end societal non-acceptance. Even after death their dead bodies lay unclaimed in the police morgue for several days. The last letter by one of the girls tells the story of love and loathing; it also asked that their parents cremate them together, which did not happen. Their unclaimed bodies were disposed of by the police, unattained, uncared for.

Still from the fim, And The Unchained

The screening of And The Unclaimed will be followed by a panel discussion of Guyanese experts on mental health and suicide prevention discussing these issues in the context of homophobia and transphobia in Guyana, and this affects LGBT people’s mental health. The panel will recommend solutions to address mental health and prevent suicide to the LGBT movement, mental health professionals, service providers, religious leaders, government and health officials. The panelists are noted psychologist Dr. Faith Harding, Director of AYUPSA: National Centre for Suicide Prevention, Swami Aksharananda, and Rev. Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth, Executive Director of the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association. The panel discussion will be moderated by SASOD member, Chelauna Providence.

The screening and panel discussion will take place at the Dutch Bottle Café on 10 North Road, between Light and Cummings Streets, and begin at 18:00 hours. The event is intended for mature audiences.

Trailer for And The Unclaimed: http://youtu.be/8Ra6l6xJvSM

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