**2 Years Later** available for The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Marissa Josephs and veteran Andrea Josephs & The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Karen McLaren and veteran Richard McLaren. Watch until the end for the two years later update.
4th July 2017- Suicide is a subject that is difficult to talk about. Please talk to someone if you are experiencing difficulty, you are not alone. Contact Beyond Blue Support. Advice. Action 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline call 13 11 14
3rd July 2017 - Congratulations to Two Weeks for winning the Best Student series at this years Melbourne WebFest. Well done!
2nd July 2017 - The Ripple Effect of PTSD 7-part documentary series had been nominated in the Melbourne WebFest 2017. It was exciting to attend the Spotlight & Student screening with my eldest son Jed (pictured in photo). I was part of a Q&A after the nominated films screened and it was an honour to talk to the audience about the brave people who shared their personal PTSD stories in the films with the hope of helping others who may be struggling. Huge thanks to Melbourne WebFest, to all the wonderful film participants and everyone that has supported The Ripple Effect of PTSD documentary series. Thank you! 😘 ❤️ 🎬 🙏🏻Photos: Jed Melzer & Kym Melzer at MWF
2nd July 2017 - 12 months ago we premiered The Ripple Effect of PTSD 7-part documentary series. The films have been selected in international film and web festivals and screened at regional events to veteran groups, chaplaincy groups, and school children. We will continue to raise awareness of PTSD in the wider community. Massive thanks to everyone that has supported the films and helped get the messages out; that there is no one size fits all for PTSD, you are not alone, there is help available, put your hand up, you are so worthy. Forever grateful to the film participants: veterans Kirsty & James Greenshields, Naomi Enchong, Karen McLaren, veteran Andrea Josephs & Marissa Josephs, Bek Houghton & veteran Michael Harding, Donna Reggett, and Liz Jackman & veteran Scott Jackman...and their family and friends who supported and participated in The Ripple Effect of PTSD documentary series. THANK YOU! 🙌🏻 ❤️ 🎬Photo: The Ripple Effect of PTSD film participants
30th June 2017 - A few days ago I received a heartbreaking message from my friend and Griffith University PhD colleague, Karen Bird, advising me that her beautiful handsomely, funny, deep, broodingly creative, courageous son, Jesse Stephen Bird, had become the latest victim of the ripple effect of PTSD over the weekend. It is hard to express in words how devastated I am for Jesse, his parents Karen & John, the whole Bird family, and friends. Sincerest condolences and much love to you all in this most difficult time. Love Kym. RIP Jesse
20th June 2017 - Nominated for the Student Selection, The Ripple Effect of PTSD - Documentary Series documents the impact of PTSD on not only veterans who suffer from the disorder, but on their families and carers. Emili Maruna speaks to filmmaker Kym Melzer, about her eye-opening web series. View here
May 9th 2017 - Thank you to Bek Houghton for screening The Ripple Effect of PTSD during her presentation at the 25th Annual Nimbin Mardigrass 2017. Big thanks to Bek and Michael for your support and continuing to raise awareness in the wider community, they received a loud and heartfelt round of applause at the end of the screening which was beautiful to see. Bek was part of a panel of families that had the most amazing lived experience cannabis stories. I had tears throughout the entire presentation because these people have had some of the toughest 'health' challenges and not just from the conditions of their loved ones but legal challenges in obtaining and administering cannabis as a medicine and stigma from parts of society that does not understand their situations. The stress must be enormous and overwhelming at times for these brave people, and my tears were because I recognised this and thought how the added stress was so unfair and unnecessary. I am hopeful that cannabis will soon be legalised and allowed to be grown and administered responsibly for people who need it. Thank you to all the families who spoke during this special presentation, you are all amazing! ❤️ KymPhoto: Weeded Warrior team at Mardigrass, Nimbin
May 6th 2017- It was a privilege to see both Bek Houghton & Michael Harding speaking today at Nimbin's 25th annual Mardigrass 2017. So lovely to see Bek & Michael receive a round of applause after the screening of The Ripple Effect of PTSD...congratulations to Bek, Michael, Damon, Max & Brooke from Weeded Warrior on effective presentations!
Matilda Poppy’s founder, veteran Andrea Josephs presented to the Emu Park Community, and screened her story in The Ripple Effect of PTSD. So incredibly proud of Andrea and her beautiful daughters.
Please support Matilda Poppy if you can
Photo: Matilda Poppy buttonhole and sticker
Thank you Faith Valencia-Forrester for interviewing The Ripple Effect of PTSD film series Producer Kym Melzer, and film participant's James Greenshields & Kirsty Greenshields for the Wire. It is so important to have discussions about sensitive issues such as mental health and domestic violence. Please have a listen. For more information about James & Kirsty Greenshields #PutYourHandUp campaign click here
Last week ,the NSW Bureau of Crime reported 1 in 5 domestic orders are breached. On the Gold Coast, it ....more
RSL Qld website have a dedicated section about PTSD which features impact producer, Kym Melzer's PhD creative project, The Ripple Effect of PTSD documentary film series. Thank you RSL Qld for your support it is very much appreciated! Huge thanks to all the film participants in The Ripple Effect of PTSD for sharing your personal stories to help others. Big thanks to Marissa Josephs for being interviewed for this months wonderful article in RSL Qld News (page 11).
The Cause Film Festival sent a lovely trophy and prizes for coming 2nd Runner-Up. I received the Davinci Resolve 12.5 Studio Hollywood’s most powerful professional editor and colour corrector as part of the prize and am super excited to use this amazing product from Black Magic Design. Thank you to the Cause Film Festival we are really grateful for your support and love the prizes. Cheers!
Photos: Producer/Director Kym Melzer holding 2nd runner-up trophy. Congratulations to The Ripple Effect of PTSD film featuring Bek Houghton & veteran Michael Harding.
Photo: Thank you the Cause Film Festival & Black Magic Design....awesome prize!
The Ripple Effect of PTSD: Veterans documentary series has been accepted in the - Online Video Awards Australia....congratulations to all the film participants who shared their personal lived experiences in the hope of helping others. Much love and respect always, Kym x
Kicking off 2017 with fabulous news....The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Bek Houghton & Michael Harding has been officially selected in the Cause Film Festival 2017 Woohoo! The Cause Film Festival is an annual short film festival whose aim is to support filmmakers, charities and causes to spread their message to a wider audience. We are thrilled The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Bek Houghton & Michael Harding will continue to educate the wider community about PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and alternative therapies, including float therapy and medicinal cannabis.
LOOKING BACK ON 2016
The Ripple Effect of PTSD: Veteran series was completed in July 2016, the seven documentary films have made a measurable impact and achieved the following to date:
• In July 2016, seventy people gathered at Griffith Film School Cinema to watch a preliminary private screening of The Ripple Effect of PTSD: Veteran series. The guests included the film participants, families and friends. Others present included representatives from the Army, Military Police, RAAF, RSL, the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation and a number of veterans’ counselling and support services.
• The seven individual personal stories in The Ripple Effect of PTSD: Veteran film series proved their diversity and were disseminated through the Defence Organisation network, RSL Queensland branch network and PTSD support groups including Weeded Warrior, Whiskey’s Wish, Operation PTSD Support, and Resilient Leaders Foundation.
• In August 2016, Currumbin RSL commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of the Long Tan with a Pop-Up Museum which screened, The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Karen McLaren, as well as, my documentary short films, Coming Home featuring Vietnam veteran Joe Gates, and Vietnam veteran Richard McLaren.
• I received fantastic support from Griffith Uni Postgraduate Students Association (GUPSA) which included a bursary to fund my attendance to the Veterans Film Festival.
• In November 2016, Whiskey’s Wish (WW) team members, including the WW puppies, visited Mt Maria College students to raise awareness about PTSD and service dogs. They screened The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Liz Jackman & Scott Jackman as part of their educational program.
• Foxtel’s Aurora Channel broadcast, The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Kirsty and James Greenshields, & The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Bek Houghton and Michael Harding, with the Veterans Film Festival films showcased on Foxtel throughout November 2016.
• The Ripple Effect of PTSD: Veterans film series archived in the National Collection in The Australian War Memorial.
• The Ripple Effect of PTSD: Veterans films had been officially selected in 5 film festivals:
The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Bek Houghton & Michael Harding had been officially selected in the Cause Film Festival 2017, Maine Cannabis Film Festival 2016 (USA) and Cinebis Film Festival 2016 (USA). The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Liz Jackman & Scott Jackman had been officially selected as a semi-finalist in the Los-Angeles CineFest Film Festival (USA). The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Kirsty Greenshields & James Greenshields had been officially selected in the Veterans Film Festival 2016. Kirsty and James Greenshields attended the VFF with me as part of my PhD research into exploring the participant’s experience in the filmmaking process.
• Throughout October and November 2016, media exposure for The Ripple Effect of PTSD: Veterans films included articles in FilmInk, Gold Coast Bulletin, Southern Gold Coast News, Senior News, and interviews with Bek Houghton and Michael Harding in the Portland Phoenix magazine (USA), and a radio interview with James Greenshields on Brisbane 612ABC radio Drive with Emma.
We will continue to achieve our community outreach goal of raising much needed awareness throughout 2017.
16th October 2016, Wow what a massive day it was yesterday, didn't go quite as planned and unfortunately we didn't win the Red Poppy Award for best short film at the Veterans Film Festival. It felt fantastic to see The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Kirsty & James Greenshields on the big screen alongside a high calibre of other short films. Our film was the only documentary featured and it received a loud applause when it screened. The winning film 'Raven' was amazing, congratulations to everyone involved in the production of Raven. Huge thanks to Kirsty and James Greenshields for travelling down and supporting our film. The festival director Tom Papas wanted Kirsty and James to know when he first viewed the film he told me they really popped on screen and are great actors. I had to remind Tom it was a documentary and he was so impressed with the emotion they conveyed. Lots of compliments on their story and the Producer/Director of Raven commented on how similar the stories were. Both had important messages and a desire to raise community awareness about PTSD recovery. We had dinner at a lovely Vietnamese restaurant before the awards and after the awards, Kirsty, James, Arun (cinematographer) and I had a celebratory drink in the city to acknowledge what an honour it was to have the film played at the Australian War Memorial theatre for the 2016 Veterans Film Festival. Thanks to everyone for your kind words and support, especially my family, friends and Griffith University and GUPSA. Much love, Kym
Photos at the Veteran Film Festival October 15th 2016
Photo: Kym Melzer, Kirsty & James Greenshields chatting with Veteran Film Festival director Tom Papas.
Photos: Kirsty Greenshields, Kym Melzer and James Greenshields
Photo: Sarah Tonacia, Kate Tonacia, Kirsty Greenshields, James Greenshields, Kym Melzer, and David Tonacia.
I am so pleased to have 3 films from The Ripple Effect of PTSD documentary series selected at film festivals near and far, which are helping to raise awareness of the impact of PTSD and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. The Ripple Effect of PTSD films selected for film festivals:
3 films from The Ripple Effect of PTSD film series selected for film festivals. We are all thrilled!
The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Kirsty & James Greenshields - Veterans Film Festival, Canberra Australia.
The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Bek Houghton & Michael Harding - Maine Cannabis Film Festival, USA.
The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Liz & Scott Jackman - Los Angeles CineFest Film Festival, USA.
Unfortunately I cannot attend the film festivals in Los Angeles or Maine, USA but I will be attending the Veterans Film Festival with Kirsty and James Greenshields in Canberra. Crossing my fingers to win all three festivals...going for the trifecta! .
WATCH NOW! THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF PTSD documentary film series
In this extremely emotional film, Veteran Andrea Josephs bravely talks about PTSD, mental health and her attempted suicides. She explains the struggles she has are on a daily basis, and that she copes by seeing her doctors regularly. Her eldest daughter Marissa bravely talks about the challenges she faced during this difficult time, and how she felt like no one was taking her seriously when she asked about her mother's health. Marissa and her sisters all received counselling through VVCS and Marissa said it was a big help. I would like to sincerely thank Marissa and Andrea Josephs, and all her gorgeous daughters, for sharing their heartfelt emotional story. It is our hope that by sharing this powerful film we will be helping to stop the stigma around PTSD, mental health and suicide. It is also important to remember that there is help out there and you are not alone.
View Marissa and Andrea’s story
If you are in need of help or know someone struggling, please get help.
LIFELINE- 13 11 14
KIDS HELPLINE - 1800 551 800
VETERANS AND VETERANS FAMILIES COUNSELLING -
VVCS - 1800 011 046
I met Karen McLaren two years ago when I interviewed her husband Richard McLaren for the documentary film 'Coming Home' a series about Australian veterans with PTSD. Karen and Richard have spent the past twenty years learning about the war related injury. Whilst producing the 'Coming Home' series I became interested in what help there was for the ones helping. Who helps the family and carers? In the series of short documentary films, The Ripple Effect of PTSD, you will hear one of the most touching poems about being a veteran's wife, written and read by Karen herself. Karen found writing poetry a form of therapy in her journey of understanding PTSD. Heartfelt thanks to Karen and Richard, they are such beautiful people and I am so thankful for their friendship and ongoing support. View Karen’s story
On Anzac day eve in 2014 I attended a special event at Brisbane ABC 7.30 Report called 'After the Parade'. I was starting my Honours degree and looking at researching therapies for PTSD, in particular, alternative therapies. There was a panel of speakers who represented the PTSD specialist community and the audience were invited to participate in the Q&A. I sat next to a friendly lady who asked why I was there and when I told her I was interested in PTSD and alternative medicines she said oh you will love what my son is going to say. Her son, Michael Harding, got up and spoke articulately about the alternative therapies that helped him in his road to PTSD recovery. I met with Michael and his lovely partner Bek after this event and invited them to be involved in my honours project, the film series 'Coming Home', it wasn't the right timing. I contacted Michael again in 2015 when I was producing my PhD research project, The Ripple Effect of PTSD film series and invited him and Bek to be involved. It was the right time and we collaborated together to create an aesthetically beautiful heartfelt film that shows the journey this amazing young couple have travelled in a few short years. I am happy to share this backstory with you as it allows you to understand why I am passionate about the films I produce, and why I care about the people who bravely share their personal stories in the hope of helping others who may be struggling. Please share this film and ask your friends to share it too. Much Love always to Bek & Michael. View Bek and Michael’s story
To find out more about Weeded Warrior
I love dogs and if you love dogs you will love this story and inspirational film, The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Liz Jackman and Scott Jackman. I need to go back a little bit before continuing, I feel it is important to share with others how inter-connected my research is. If you've read any of my previous posts you'll know I produced a series of short documentary films for my Honours research titled, 'Coming Home'. The participants from 'Coming Home' were completely engaged and actively helped me recruit participants for my PhD research project, 'The Ripple Effect of PTSD', featuring family and carers of veterans and first responders diagnosed with PTSD. One of the participants, Richard McLaren, from 'Coming Home' told people at Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation (GMRF), Greenslopes Hospital, about my films and GMRF contacted me to find out more. GMRF have been huge supporters of my research since then, and as part of their support they introduced me to a couple of veteran’s wives, Liz Jackman and Cathy Sadler. Both of these beautiful ladies decided to participate, in 'The Ripple Effect of PTSD' series. When I found out Liz and Scott Jackman, and their friends, started a service dog business 'Whiskey's Wish' to help veterans and first responders diagnosed with PTSD, I was keen to hear their story. Liz and I met and I can tell you her story really touched my heart, and when you view this heartfelt story I am sure you too will be deeply moved. Big thanks to GMRF and Richard McLaren for your ongoing support. Massive thanks to Liz, Scott and Sam Jackman (and your family, including the puppies), many thanks also to Dylan Jeffries and Barry Billing who feature in this inspirational film, I am truly grateful. Much love always. I encourage you to watch this film and share with others. Help us raise awareness of the impact of PTSD, thank you. View Liz and Scott’s story
If you want to find out more about the Service Dogs from Whiskey’s Wish
Donna Reggett is a dynamic woman who has helped many people through her work and support. Donna Reggett is married to veteran Andrew Reggett. When Andrew was first diagnosed there was no help available for partners or the family. In an effort to help herself, her family and then others, Donna spent years learning about PTSD. Donna went on to found some much needed support groups for family and carers of veterans and first responders with PTSD. One of the organisations, Operation PTSD Support arranges for the carers and spouses to have respite weekend getaways, which has been a God send for many. Donna's lived experience is invaluable in her mental health courses she runs. Donna is an amazing woman who has helped to change many people’s lives, she hopes that her film will show people who are struggling, there is help and they are not alone.
To find out more about Operation PTSD Support
View Donna’s story
Likewise, Naomi Enchong is an amazing woman who continues to help and change people’s lives. Naomi and her husband, veteran John Enchong, work as RSL sub-branch welfare officers and attend weekly visits to those in need, giving out hugs and support along the way. Naomi's hope for her film is that someone who is struggling might hear one word, one sentence, one message that will give them hope to get through what she knows to be very hard times, and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I thank both Donna and Naomi from the bottom of my heart for speaking honestly and openly about the difficult times they went through. I have so much admiration for you both and for the brilliant work you do in the community. Much Love.
To find out more about the Maroochydore and Sunshine Coast & Regional District RSL sub branch services
View Naomi’s story
NB. This photo was taken on Remembrance Day 2015 on the lawns in front of Parliament House. Donna and Clare from Operation PTSD Support attended the inaugural event, 2015 National Veterans' Suicide Awareness Campaign, founded by John and Naomi Enchong. A wonderful example of how people connect and support each other’s efforts in raising awareness of the impact of PTSD.
Photo left to right: Clare Wightwick, veteran Dee Grove, Naomi Enchong, Donna Reggett.
POP UP MUSEUM: THE BATTLE OF LONG TAN
Currumbin RSL 15th-20th August 2016.
As a filmmaker this makes my heart sing...seeing my films used in a Pop Up Museum: the Battle of Long Tan. Excerpts from The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Karen McLaren, Coming Home featuring Joe Gates, and Coming Home featuring Richard McLaren, fitted beautifully in the space with all the other treasured memorabilia pieces in this wonderful exhibition. Thank you Currumbin RSL for all your support in raising awareness of PTSD.
The excerpts of my films screened at the Pop Up Museum: the Battle of Long Tan, highlighted the diversity of the documentary series in the distribution and community outreach phase of the filmmaking process and this is significant information for my PhD research.
In case you missed the exciting news….The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Kirsty & James Greenshields has been selected in the Veteran Film Festival held at the Australian War Memorial 13,14,15 October 2016. This film will be uploaded once the festival is completed.
If you would like more information on Kirsty and James Greenshields, Resilient Leaders Foundation
THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF PTSD part Two is in PRODUCTION!Stay tuned for some more amazing inspirational stories about the impact of PTSD featuring family of first responders…more details COMING SOON!
Behind The Scenes
As part of my PhD research into exploring the participant’s experience in the documentary filmmaking process I asked the participant’s the following three questions.
1. What was your motivation for participating in The Ripple Effect of PTSD?
2. What are your expectations for your film?
3. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
The participants were given the choices: to film themselves (or someone at home film them), I could film them, or they could decline to participate. Out of this documentary series of seven short films, two participants declined being filmed (one sent a written reply), out of the remaining five documentaries, two participants filmed it themselves (one with a family member), and the remaining three preferred that I film them. Experimenting with technique I asked those filming themselves to use their phone camera. I used my i-phone and did not add lighting or any extra microphones. We achieved the desired look that is loose and un-cinematic. After filming and receiving the participants selfie films, I was able to observe a key finding for why the participants were motivated to participate in The Ripple Effect of PTSD film series...because they wanted to be heard...they wanted a voice!
Click here to view the Behind The Scenes Videos
Ryan Joel Brown is an amazing Brisbane based composer, pianist and teacher. Ryan and I caught up and I videoed part of his creative process, scoring the short documentary film, The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Liz Jackman and veteran Scott Jackman. Ryan sits at his piano and improvises the music as he watches the film, it is exciting to see the music being created before your eyes. This behind the scenes video offers an insight...a sneak peak...into Ryan’s creative process for composing original music for films. Love his work!
Click to view Ryan Joel Brown
Pictured: Ryan Joel Brown composing the score for The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring veteran Kirsty Greenshields and veteran James Greenshields.
Friday 1st July 2016, I held a private screening of The Ripple Effect of PTSD at Griffith Film School Cinema. The social impact documentary series (Part 1) includes seven short films featuring: Donna Reggett, Karen McLaren, Michael Harding, Bek Houghton, Naomi Enchong, Andrea Josephs, Marissa Josephs, James Greenshields, Kirsty Greenshields, Scott Jackman and Liz Jackman. I cannot say thank you enough times to these fabulous people who I have thanked individually but collectively I thank them for being the ones who are, speaking to people, touching hearts, and changing peoples lives through sharing their lived experiences. THANK YOU and love always Kym xxx
These inspirational heartfelt series will be available online shortly...watch this space.
Photos from the screening (shared with permission)
Left to Right: Kym Melzer, Bek Houghton, veteran Michael Harding.
Left to Right: Bek Houghton, veteran Michael Harding and Kym Melzer.
Left to right: veteran Dylan Jeffries, Naomi Enchong, veteran John Enchong, veteran Scott Jackman, Kym Melzer.
Left to right: veteran Dylan Jeffries, Naomi Enchong, veteran John Enchong, veteran Scott Jackman.
Left to right: Kym Melzer, veteran Kirsty Greenshields, veteran James Greenshields.
Left to right: veteran Kirsty Greenshields, veteran James Greenshields.
Left to right: Kym Melzer, veteran Kirsty Greenshields, veteran James Greenshields.
Left to right: Kym Melzer and Donna Reggett.
Left to Right: Kym Melzer, Sam Jackman, Liz Jackman, veteran Scott Jackman and veteran Dylan Jackman.
Left to right: Composer Shannon Reimer, Kym Melzer, Composer Ryan Joel Brown.
veteran John Enchong and Donna Reggett.
Left to right: Arun Ketsirat, Kym Melzer, Clare Wightwick, veteran John Enchong, Donna Reggett, Laura Versace.
Left to right: Arun Ketsirat, Kym Melzer, Clare Wightwick, veteran John Enchong, Donna Reggett, Laura Versace.
Queensland College of Arts, Griffith University, Griffith Film School.
Queensland College of Arts, Griffith University, Griffith Film School.
Educational PTSD Interview with DR Khoo
Dr Madeline Romaniuk’s highly educational interviews are online. Dr Romaniuk discusses, Domestic Violence and PTSD, myths and misconceptions about PTSD and much more. Many thanks to Dr Romaniuk and Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation, Greenslopes Private Hospital for your support.
Click to view videos
Educational PTSD Interview with DR Khoo
Dr Andrew Khoo, Consultant Psychiatrist, Director at Toowong Private Hospital, and Senior Lecturer at University Queensland, discusses Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Secondary PTSD, and more.
A huge thank you to Dr Khoo, Karen Young, and Toowong Private hospital for your support. Please share these videos to educate and raise awareness of PTSD.
Click to view videos
Personal Stories From Families and Carers About The Impact of PTSD ...COMING SOON
I first met Shannon Reimer a few years ago whilst producing a GFS undergraduate short film 'Busk Off'...check it out... https://youtu.be/2twfbZjnf50. We have stayed in touch and it is super cool we have collaborated together again on more projects. Shannon has produced multiple original scores for my documentary short film series, The Ripple Effect of PTSD, and they are all amazing! Heartfelt thanks to a very funny and talented man.
Photo courtesy Shannon Reimer Facebook page (shared with permission): Shannon…working the Yamaha DM2000 48+8 channel digital console (5.1 surround inbuilt as well) with a classic dual channel UAD 1176 compressor (my fav' i adore these comps!), TWo distressor comps, An old Roland efx rack,and a Neve 1083. (Think it is) Dual ch. EQ on my left, and UAD, AVALON, SSL preamps on my right (just outa shot) ... I like studio 4!
Today I had the pleasure of interviewing, Dr Madeline Romaniuk, for 'The Ripple Effect of PTSD' documentary series. Dr Romaniuk is a Clinical Psychologist and Project Leader for Veteran Mental Health Initiative at Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation, Greenslopes Private Hospital, and she is the Lead Investigator on a series of Projects under the umbrella of that initiative. Dr Romaniuk works as both a therapist and researcher in the area of mental health and well being in the veteran community as well as currently serving military personnel. Dr Romaniuk discusses the current research projects under the Veteran Health Initiative, the link between Domestic Violence and PTSD, the stigma and myths of mental health and more.Thank you to Dr Romaniuk and the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation, Greenslopes Private Hospital for your support. Dr Romaniuk's engaging educational interview...COMING SOON!
This post is a straight out tease because I am not going to let you hear how awesome the music is until the films are ready for release. I will share with you that I am feeling a little bit emotional...as I just heard original scores for two of my films The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Karen McLaren, and The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Bek Houghton and veteran Michael Harding. Thank you Shannon Reimer...I love your work! It is an absolute joy when the stars all align.
Had a lovely day meeting and filming a very interesting Vietnam veteran, Barry Billing, and his ‘Whiskey’s Wish’ service dog, Miles. My childhood home was in Collaroy Plateau just a few blocks from the RSL ANZAC VILLAGE, Narrabeen, Sydney (growing up we called it War Vets Home). There are a lot more homes in the village now and a wonderful ‘Gallipoli’ building with a dining area and cafeteria that overlooks the spectacular Narrabeen lakes.
We enjoyed coffee and cake in the café and chatted about Barry’s amazing life. Barry showed me photos of him paragliding, photos of Miles in the surf, his tattoo of the tiger (who lives in Dubbo zoo) that was presented to him by the Vietnamese government, he read some absolutely beautiful poetry he had written, and showed me a wonderful picture he had drawn of a soldier that passed. Miles sat quietly at Barry’s feet on his special mat at the cafe, watching and listening, such a good service dog.
In his interview, Barry talks about how much Miles has changed his life and how Miles wakes him up if he’s having nightmares. They are best mates. Thank you so much Barry and Miles for being part of The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Liz Jackman. It was a pleasure and honour to meet you both.
Update #15 - Bring on 2016!
As this year comes to an end I will start by saying thank you to everyone that has participated in, supported, and contributed to my short documentary film series, The Ripple Effect of PTSD.
I am so grateful and honoured to be able to share the participants’ personal heartfelt stories, they are all unique and equally amazing. Each of these wonderful stories are becoming a part of a bigger picture and strong ‘voice’. I like to use the analogy of a quilt when explaining my PhD creative project, The Ripple Effect of PTSD. The different stories threaded together create a visually beautiful work of art, the complete work transcends the aesthetic value and in its simplicity becomes a practical and useful form.
In the past month I have been busy interviewing and getting B roll footage for the documentary films already in production. Once again, Elliott Lewis-Hall, aptly assisted me as Director of Photography whilst interviewing the charismatic leader James Greenshields (married to the gorgeous Kirsty Greenshields). James gave a touching insight into his father and child relationship, and how the symptoms of PTSD impacted his family. James is now living in what he and Kirsty describe as Post Traumatic Growth, having moved out of the mud and through the pain of PTSD. A fascinating and positive personal story….coming soon in 2016!
Picture: Elliott Lewis-Hall – Director of Photography ‘The Ripple Effect of PTSD – featuring Kirsty Greenshields & veteran James’ Greenshield’.
Picture: Veteran James Greenshield
I have recently caught up for coffee and chats with Bek Houghton and veteran Michael Harding. They both were very happy after viewing the rough cut version of their film, we have enhanced the story with some of their personal photos. The transformation in their PTSD journey is inspirational and amazing. Bek and Michael’s personal story…coming soon in 2016!
Picture: Bek Houghton
Picture: Veteran Michael Harding
Next week I am heading to Sydney to spend time with family. I am also very pleased that a ‘Whiskeys Wish’ service dog recipient, Vietnam veteran Barry and his service dog Miles, have agreed to meet and be filmed for The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Liz Jackman and veteran Scott Jackman. I will keep you posted on this heart warming story. This will be very special. Early next year I will be filming the Jackman children for Liz’s wonderful story…coming soon in 2016!
Picture: Liz Jackman
Picture: Veteran Scott Jackman
Really looking forward to catching up with Cathy and Ralph Sadler again next year to complete Cathy’s emotional personal story. Can’t wait to meet up with veteran Andrea Josephs and her four beautiful bubbly daughters early next year, to film more B roll and finish Marissa Josephs insightful story. I am so excited to be filming Lori Alcantara’s story in the new year…there will be a few surprises in this amazing film…watch this space!
Very busy editing Donna Reggett’s inspiring story, and Dr Andrew Khoo’s brilliant interview…coming soon in 2016!
I am super excited to share this news…some of The Ripple Effect of PTSD documentary short films (featuring Naomi Enchong, featuring Karen McLaren, and featuring Bek Houghton and veteran Michael Harding) have been sent to very talented musicians and composers, Ryan Joel Brown, and Shannon Reimer, who will compose original scores for each film. I have heard a sneak peak from Ryan Joel Brown and it sounds amazing! More will be revealed in 2016!
Thank you to all my family, friends and friends yet to meet, for being a part of my journey. Happy 2016!
I attended the 2015 National Veterans' Suicide Awareness Campaign special poppy service yesterday at the assembly area of Parliament House, Canberra. Veteran John Enchong gave a short speech in remembrance of those ADF personnel who have committed suicide as a result of their service. It was a moving speech and the key message was PTSD doesn't have to be a death sentence. I congratulate John and Naomi Enchong for their dedicated work in helping others and for raising awareness that help is out there for veterans and their families who are struggling. The complete speech and poppy service performed by Veteran John Enchong will be uploaded in the coming weeks to the '2015 National Veterans' Suicide Awareness Campaign' Facebook page.
It was also wonderful to see Donna Reggett and Clare, representing Operation PTSD Support, supporting John and Naomi Enchong in Canberra. Small world! Footage from this special poppy service will be included in The Ripple Effect of PTSD featuring Naomi Enchong, and Donna Reggett's Ripple Effect of PTSD documentary short films.
Post Traumatic Growth & Self Discovery
Had a wonderful day today with DOP Elliott Lewis-Hall, filming Kirsty Greenshield's personal story in Northern NSW. Kirsty is a dynamic woman who speaks candidly about her relationship with husband James Greenshield's, a veteran of the Iraq war. Kirsty remembers the day in April 2007 she got a phone call from James telling her there had been an accident. James was in a convoy that was ambushed and hit by an improvised explosive device. At the same time James was hit by the bomb, back at home his small daughter Abi awoke from her sleep crying and Kirsty consoled her. Kirsty says "We both believe, actually it's not even believing anymore it's a knowing, she woke up to help him and communicate with him so that we could help him to come back...that was a crucial piece for helping us heal." Kirsty and James run leadership programs that help people with self-discovery and post traumatic growth. Kirsty's full story...Coming Soon.
18 year old Marissa Josephs is the eldest daughter of Veteran Andrea Josephs. Andrea has fought many battles including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and attempted suicides. Marissa has taken on the adult 'mother' role to her three younger sisters during her mothers stay in hospital after an attempted suicide. Marissa reveals how she was not treated as an adult or taken seriously by the doctors when she tried to talk to them about her mothers mental illness. Marissa said “It was quite a struggle with the doctors at the hospital and the psychiatrist’s…no one would treat me seriously.”
Children are hugely effected when a parent suffers PTSD and attempts suicide but often children's voices are unheard. This is a sneak peak... Marissa's compelling full story...Coming Soon. Produced by Kym Melzer, Director of Photography: Tim Corboy, Gaffer and Camera Assistant: Elliott Lewis-Hall, and Sound Recordist: Campbell Brennan. Australia. 2015.
An exciting week working with ‘crew’, Tim Corboy, Campbell Brennan and Elliott Lewis-Hall, from Griffith Film School. We filmed, carer Rebecca Houghton, partner of Afghanistan Veteran Michael Harding who was diagnosed with PTSD and medically discharged in 2012. Together this young couple have searched and found alternative therapies such as, floatation therapy, nutrition, yoga, cannabis medicine and dog therapy to help positively manage Michael’s PTSD symptoms. This is an inspirational and passionate personal story. Bek’s full story…Coming Soon.
Picture: Bek Houghton in the beautiful floatation tank at ‘The Float Space’. Thanks to Janina Hildebrand from The Float Space, Maroochydore for allowing us to film in your stunning space.
I have spoken about my previous series of short documentary films Coming Home (2014). You can view them all on my fabulous website…shameless plug www.melzerkym.com The reason I refer back to the Coming Home series frequently is because they are threaded into the current series of short documentary films THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF PTSD.
Dr Andrew Khoo is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director of the Toowong Private Hospital, treating patients suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Last year when the majority of Australians gathered to watch the race that stops a nation, the Melbourne Cup, I met with Dr Khoo and viewed Coming Home featuring Veteran Frank Alcantara. After watching the film Dr Khoo said the film would be a form of exposure therapy for Frank and he had no concerns with Frank viewing it. My concerns about Frank viewing the film vanished.
This week I met with Dr Khoo and interviewed him for The Ripple Effect of PTSD film series. Dr Khoo details what PTSD is and the symptoms associated with the mental illness. Dr Khoo discusses the very important role of carers looking after a loved one living with PTSD and explains why the term secondary PTSD can be misleading. He also talks about the impact of PTSD on families, children and the community, and recommends anyone struggling with negative thoughts to put their hand up and ask for help. I really appreciate the positive support and generosity from Dr Khoo and Toowong Private Hospital. Dr Khoo’s insightful and interesting interview Coming Soon.
Dr Andrew Khoo, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director of the Toowong Private Hospital.
Lori Alcantara is married to Veteran Frank Alcantara. Frank featured in my previous series of short documentary films COMING HOME (2014) and we have kept in touch since then. Whilst speaking to Frank about the positive and negative consequences of participating in the COMING HOME documentary, Frank revealed how a lot of friends had dumped him after finding out he has PTSD. Frank suggested I interview Lori to find out more about the stigma that's still surrounds PTSD. Frank was initially diagnosed with PTSD in 2006 but hid symptoms until a complete diagnosis in 2012. Lori says "It was a very personal thing but when he started telling people about it he said it was like being gay and you're actually coming out of the closet and explaining to people that you do have PTSD and I thought it was a nice way to put it. Because really it is a taboo subject in a lot of areas still...A few people walked away...It's not contagious guys you can't catch it". Heartfelt thanks to Lori and Frank for their kindness and support. More of Lori's personal story...Coming Soon.
TRAILER - THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF PTSD featuring Lori Alcantara
Liz Jackman is married to Veteran Scott Jackman who was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in late 2012. Liz’s story really touched me when I filmed her interview and we both shed a few tears. There are multiple challenges faced when confronted with the news your partner has a life changing diagnosis. The implications and the effects on the family are felt immediately. This is a ‘sneak peak’ into Liz’s personal and emotional story, she talks about some of the challenges she faced when husband Scott was medically discharged, and the help needed for families. Liz says “Surely there should be something like a hotline for partners to say look I’m finding it a little bit difficult at them moment, I just need some assistance or I just need someone to talk to’. More of Liz's inspirational story and how she, her husband Scott and two close friends founded the Service Dog, not-for-profit organisation, WHISKEY'S WISH...Coming Soon.
TRAILER - THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF PTSD featuring Liz Jackman
Technology blows my mind…tap, swipe, click your way through the global information highway. I am super excited to add my work to the world wide web and invite you to check out on my fabulous website www.melzerkym.com.au .
This platform showcases films I have produced and projects in development. It is wonderful to be able to share the heartfelt and inspirational stories in my documentary and drama films, and keep you posted on the progress of my PhD research.
Update #6 TWO sneak peak trailers…
THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF PTSD featuring Cathy Sadler wife of Veteran Ralph Sadler who was initially diagnosed with PTSD in 2007 which was hidden until a complete PTSD diagnosis in 2013. Cathy gives a vivid personal insight into being the wife of a Veteran suffering PTSD and battling suicidal thoughts. Cathy says “There’s nothing going to stop him. I wasn’t anything to him. He says, you’re dead to me. I’ve moved on from that, I’m in a different place right now. And that’s’ the first time I’ve never been so scared. I could not stop sobbing, because I said to him I’m going to do everything in my power to stop you from what you’re going to do. I know why you’re doing it, because we were having financial troubles. He thought he didn’t deserve a family so he didn’t deserve to live…this was his solution”.
Cathy’s full story…Coming Soon. TRAILER
THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF PTSD featuring Veteran Andrea Josephs is extremely personal, she has faced many battles including fighting PTSD. Andrea offers an explanation into why she has attempted suicide and the ripple effect of PTSD on her family. Andrea says “Even though it’s about me releasing the pain and the torment that I was going through every day of the emotion going up and down whether I was angry or sad…I mean it flips just so quickly…wanting to drink myself into oblivion I mean no child should have to sit back and watch that. So for me it was like I am ending the pain and my suffering but I’m also freeing them.” Thankfully Andrea and her four daughters have had and are continuing to receive help through VVCS Veterans and Veterans Family Counselling. Andrea’s full story…Coming Soon. TRAILER
It has been a huge week so far….I have met with four veteran wives and filmed their personal stories. For those living with PTSD and their family, THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF PTSD is not so much a ripple but more like crashing waves. As a filmmaker it is sometimes hard for me to hear their touching stories without feeling deep sadness for everyone involved, and it is impossible for me to hide my tears. These stories are so important, heartfelt thanks to everyone who has donated and contributed to THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF PTSD documentary series. A massive thank you to the participants for sharing their personal and valuable stories….sneak peak trailers coming soon.
Last week, I met with Donna Reggett, who is married to Somalian veteran Andrew Reggett, they have two beautiful daughters and a gorgeous granddaughter. Andrew was RAAF (1980-2003) deployed to Somalia in 1994 and diagnosed with PTSD in 1997.
Donna searched and learnt much about PTSD over the years. In 2003 she became a volunteer welfare officer and then Advocate assisting veterans with their entitlements.
Donna has founded and been hands on in many PTSD related groups, fundraising to help families and partners of veterans with PTSD.
As a Vietnam veteran daughter, a wife of Somalian veteran; and having knowledge of all the acts of legislation, Donna was invited in 2008 to be a valuable member of the inaugural Prime Ministers Advisory Council on Veterans Matters.
University studies and graduation, Human Services, in 2015 followed.
Donna founded 'Operation PTSD Support Inc.' in 2013 and runs respite events for partners, Mental Health First Aid Education Courses and private online support groups.
In her experienced story Donna says, "Ask the hard questions, and you know it's not such a scary thing to ask 'Are you going to kill yourself?' because you don't realise how important that question can be? So if we're giving people confidence to say that or 'Are you feeling suicidal?' you've started the conversation and when people are confident about that then you're going to have a lot better outcome".
Donna’s full story…Coming Soon.TRAILER - THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF PTSD featuring Donna Reggett
I am sincerely grateful to everyone that has contributed to THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF PTSD short documentary film series. Your contributions have enabled many valuable PTSD family and carers stories to be shared.
Heartfelt thanks, Kym Melzer
I first met Naomi Enchong last year when I was interviewing her husband, Rwandan veteran John Enchong who featured in my series of short documentary films COMING HOME. We kept in touch, so it was natural for me to ask Naomi to participate in the current series of short documentary films THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF PTSD. Naomi offers an insight into what it was like for her when John was first diagnosed with PTSD fourteen years ago and the challenges she faced. Naomi says "The general community go 'Why aren't you over it yet? Why aren't you over it? Why don't you just get over it? You can't!" Over the years Naomi has learnt to live with and help John manage the PTSD symptoms. Naomi and John recently became Welfare Officers for the RSL Sunshine Coast & Regional District subbranch because they are passionate about helping others, sharing their PTSD knowledge and "paying it forward". Here's a sneak peak of Naomi's story. Enjoy.
The Ripple Effect Of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Documentary series of short films.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) amongst Australian veterans and Australian first responders affects more than the person diagnosed. The impact of PTSD ripples through family, friends and the community. The carers and families of veterans and first responders, live and manage the PTSD symptoms with their loved ones on a daily basis, often picking up pieces and putting them back together with minimal support. The role of the family and carer for veterans and first responders suffering PTSD is extremely significant. Much knowledge can be gained from listening to the family and carers personal, heartfelt and inspirational stories about living with a loved one suffering PTSD. Who helps the ones helping? What help is there for the family and carers?
THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF PTSD is a ground breaking series of short documentary films from around Australia, that places the spotlight on the family and carers of veterans and first responders living with PTSD. The films illuminate the challenges endured by family and carers and gives them a ‘voice’, and a platform to share their experiences. The films are produced as an advocacy and educational tool to start community discussions about PTSD and the important role of the carer and family. THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF PTSD series creates a national ‘snapshot’ of the contemporary issues faced by family and carers of spouses living with PTSD. The personal experiences and emotional individual family and carers stories presented together is a powerful and valuable ‘voice’.
The spouses and family of veterans and first responders living with PTSD are often faced with challenges they are not prepared for. THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF PTSD series of films explores how spouses and family have managed and the support they have received (if any). PTSD specialists are interviewed and offer a scientific insight into PTSD and the ripple effects on carers and family. Links to Australian PTSD services and resources are provided in the films to help carers and families of Australian veterans and Australian first responders living with PTSD find help and support if needed.