Posted on: 4 March 2024

Kaveh Meshkat, a patient currently working with Tina Meegan, Employment Specialist in Westminster, shares his story about a film making workshop he was able take part in thanks to support from Tina and Westminster Employment Services.  Read his story below:

"Without the support of CNWL Employment Services and Tina Meegan, I wouldn't have dared embark on this self-discovery journey."

The screen flickered to life, and my film began. A rollercoaster of emotions flooded me – joy, disbelief, and even a tinge of despair.


Tina and Kaveh (pictured above)

Three and a half minutes of my story, my pain, my trauma, finally exposed for the world to see. It wasn't easy piecing together the broken shards of my past for my "bitter war chocolate" film, but without the support of CNWL Employment Services and Tina Meegan, I wouldn't have dared embark on this self-discovery journey.

A year ago, I was drowning in financial and personal turmoil. The threat of redundancy loomed large, amplifying my anxiety and depression. ADHD made daily tasks feel like mountains, and my confidence lay shattered. Losing my job as a reporter still haunted me, pushing me to seek new horizons.

My therapist introduced me to Tina, an employment specialist who became my lifeline.

Through her, I landed in a 12-week filmmaking project with 13 others, a collaboration between Wondering Mind and Mind. Wondering Mind, a champion for mental health through creative expression, partnered with Mind, a leading mental health support organization.

Together, they built this incredible 12-week journey where we learned not just filmmaking, but ourselves.

Both Wondering Mind and Mind believed in the power of film to heal: "Imagine a program where individuals facing mental health challenges not only express themselves, but also collaborate and grow through filmmaking."

Matt Sommerville, co-founder of Wondering Mind, and Tom Acres from Mind were our guides, pushing us with kindness and creativity.

Even with zero film experience, we opened up, supporting each other through the daunting moments.

For some, it was life-changing: "Words can't express my gratitude. My life has transformed!"

For others, a journey of self-discovery: "I actually finished a film! After countless unfinished courses, this boosted my confidence and friendships. I showed up, I coped, and I didn't crumble under pressure."

Twelve films, twelve stories, a universe of possibilities emerged.

Mine? War. Facing it through film was brutal, but liberating.

The other films were just as powerful – tales of domestic violence, depression, loss – each one sparking understanding and shattering stigmas.

The public screening was our grand finale.

Watching and discussing our films with the audience was like magic. This project wasn't just 12 weeks; Matt, a pro filmmaker, opened doors for paid work.

We learned that when words fail, film becomes a powerful language, a voice that goes beyond "patient words" and lets professionals see the depths of our struggles.

When I edited the final scene of my film, I remember what I whispered to myself that day: "I'm still here. I'm still fighting."

Now, I fight with hope, purpose, and a brand-new voice – the voice of a filmmaker.