Sustainability in Mental Health Short-Film Series

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When we hear the word "sustainability," we often think of environmental initiatives. But health and well-being is one of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. What would our world look like if we focused on mental health within our sustainability goals?

Shaidah Herron interviews Patrick Jones, Director of Case Management and Homeless Outreach, Community Friendship Inc.
Shaidah Herron interviews Patrick Jones, Director of Case Management and Homeless Outreach, Community Friendship Inc.

"Sustainability in Mental Health" is a three-part film series directed by Shaidah Herron, M.S. student in Global Media and Cultures, French, and GRA in the "Global at Home" pilot program. Check out the schedule below! 

The act of sustaining our health is something we must all engage in, whether we strive to exercise our bodies, eat right, and engage in healthy social settings. Mental health is a key aspect of well-being, and it is becoming an increasingly urgent problem in our society today. One in four people between the ages of 18 and 30 suffer from some form of mental illness, and suicide is becoming known as an "epidemic" on America's campuses. 

There are many people who need mental health resources, but who lack a voice in the creation of these programs. Sustainability in Mental Health tries to bring new voices into the discussion of the structures and resources that affect mental health.

The three events below include short-films, guest speakers, and discussions on sustainability and mental health. Join us to learn how you can use your expertise and your education to make an impact in the mental health field.

RSVP For Sustainability in Mental Health Films

11/14: "This is Crazy" - Criminalizing Mental Health

Date: Thursday, November 14th
Time: 6-7:30pm
Location: @North Avenue Apartments, Centennial Room.  Signs will be posted! 

120 N. Ave Atlanta, Ga 30313

Reception to follow

Georgia Tech Bus Routes: Blue or Red

Paid Parking: Visitor Lot 1, next to the Alumni Building (190 North Avenue NW , Atlanta, GA 30313)

Free Street Parking along Centennial Olympic Park Drive, limited space

Film: “This is Crazy: Criminalizing Mental Health”

Guest Speaker: Dr. Sarah Allred is Associate Professor of Sociology and Chair of the department at Berry College. Her teaching interests include health, social inequality, disability, and research methods. One of here skills includes using data systems to approach health issues. Dr. Allred is a founding member of the Evaluation and Research Committee for the international Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. As a trained Inside-Out instructor, she offers an annual, upper-level sociology elective best described as a prison-based (Floyd County Prison) Academic Community Engagement course. This course inspires "civic engagement, human connection, and sense of agency ” (

Discussion: Dr. Allred will lead us through a discussion about stigmas surrounding mental health and the institutional structures in place that prevent access to health care. Please join us to learn about how you can impact the mental health field in areas such using computer systems, business start-ups, and program development as we learn about what is needed in the growing field of mental health.

Address: Brittain Dining Hall, Atlanta, GA 30332
Transportation: Georgia Tech Blue and Red Buses . Close to North Ave. MARTA station
Parking: Free Parking on Street or $10 Parking lot on North Avenue

11/07: Autism and Innovation

Date: Thursday, November 7th
Time: 6-7:30pm
Location: @North Avenue Apartments GYM

Reception to follow

Film: 'Autism Documentary: Inside the UK’s only school for autistic girls'

Guest Speaker: Jhillika Kumar, a Gatech 4th-year computational media student who is making an impact in the lives of those living with autism using her own creativity and innovation in technology! 'Mentra' is her creation that pairs autistic students with students not on the spectrum to help them navigate the job hunt. Once the algorithm matches a team, they can meet and develop a mentorship together.

Discussion: As the founder of AxisAbility, the startup behind the app, Jhillika will speak about the importance of serving others, her motivations, experiences that led her this far, and inspire fellow students to dare to step out with their own creations as well ... A surprise guest will be at this event!

Learn more about Jhillika's work here:

Address: 120 North Avenue NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
Transportation: Gatech Bus routes Blue and Red . Close to North Ave. MARTA station
Parking: Free Parking on Street or $10 Parking lot on North Avenue

10/24: Groundwork Community Organizations


Date: Thursday, October 24th
Time: 6-7:30pm
Location: @West Village - 3rd Floor, Ensemble Room
Reception to follow

Film: "Salud y Solidaridad: The Nocturnal Routes of Iniciativa Comunitaria" made in Puerto Rico

Guest Speaker: With 20+ years experience in social work serving homeless individuals who experience long-term mental illness. Patrick Jones, Assistant Director of Case Management and Homeless Outreach with Community Friendship Inc. in Atlanta, Ga., helps to provide services to people recovering from substance abuse, fleeing from domestic violence and those integrating back into the community after leaving jail or prison. This case management team job's is to connect homeless individuals who experience a mental illness to community services that best fits them. This includes connections to resources such as housing, medical treatment, therapy, clothes, and food.

Discussion: Following the film, Patrick Jones, will lead us in a discussion about the film, relating what we see in Puerto Rico to his line of work here in Metro Atlanta. As we define terms such as severe mental illness and chronic homelessness, we will learn about current social issues and discuss how students can get involved within the mental health field through areas such as policy, sustainable infrastructure, non-profit service work, and community development.

Learn more about Community Friendship Inc. here:

QUESTION: How do you see your area of work helping to solve an issue such as this? : There are over 4,000 homeless persons in the Atlanta metropolitan area and approximately 1,000 beds within community sectors to serve these peoples. ... 95% percent of those beds remain occupied.

Address: 532 8th St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
Transportation: Gatech Bus routes Blue, Red and Pink .
Parking: Curran Deck, Top Level. $1 per hour (Access this deck off of 6th street)

Group photo