Mental health focused film screenings are back at the Belmont Filmhouse after pandemic hiatus

Two Aberdeen mental heath nurses are bringing back their mental health focussed movie screenings after a 20 month Covid hiatus. Dan Warrender and Scott McPherson are the team behind Mental Health in Movies. The first screening with be the John Hughes thanksgiving classic comedy, Planes, Trains and Automobiles. You can join them at the Belmont Filmhouse Kino Bar on Tuesday 30 Nov at 6:30pm.


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Where did Mental Health in Movies start?

Originally called, Mental Health Movie Monthly, Mental Health in Movies was launched in 2016. Dan and Scott wanted to make mental health discussions more accessible and engaging. They achieved this by hosting film screenings, open to the general public. This was followed by a discussion of the mental health issues raised in the film. They created it with the intention of using film as a platform to encourage conversations around people’s mental health experiences.

Scott and Dan stand in the glass roofed atrium of an office building. Scott (on the left) is is the taller of the two. Both are red haired, but Scott has a whitening beard. Scott is wearing a green t-shirt and Dan is wearing a blue polo shirt with a lanyard round his neck. Both are smiling.
Scott McPherson and Dan Warrender | Mental Heath in Movies

Dan told us, “I’m really looking forward to getting out there and discussing mental health in film with my good friend and the wider public. It never feels like hard work, but it always feels important that we have these conversations.”

Their last screening was Fargo on the 16th of March 2020, just before we all went into lockdown. It was a popular event for Robert Gordon University students, staff, and members of the public. Many were regular attendees until MHMM had to halt. The screenings created a safe and welcoming environment. This allowed people to talk about mental health by using films as a conversation starter.

Name change

During the pandemic, Dan and Scott decided on a name change, rebranding it ‘Mental Health in Movies’, or MHIM. With cinema spaces reopening in Scotland, MHIM has returned along with a brand new podcast. There are plans for semi-regular film events and discussions in 2022 in the Aberdeen area. You can find ‘Episode Zero’ of Dan and Scott’s new podcast on Anchor and Spotify.

Mental Health in Movies will be hosting a showing of Planes, Trains And Automobiles (1987) at Belmont Filmhouse’s Kino Bar. The film starts at 6.30pm. Tickets are priced at £5 and it will be shown with English captions to make the event more accessible.

Scott is excited to share the John Hughes classic with the audience. He told us, “I can’t wait to use one of my all-time favourite comedies to create conversations around mental health and to be able to do so in partnership with the Belmont Filmhouse in their Kino Bar is fantastic. The pandemic affected our ability to provide these sorts of showings for people. So we’re really excited to be able to do this in-person again. We hope that the public will turn up to support the initiative and enjoy a great film in comfortable surroundings, followed by some judgement-free discussion.”

What you need to know

Where: Belmont Filmhouse, Belmont Street, Aberdeen
Date: Tuesday 30 Nov 2021
Time: 6:30pm
Price: £5
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