On Friday May 5th, the City of Sunderland is kindly hosting a mental health & suicide prevention workshop for members of the public.

Led by mental health professionals, which will begin with an extra screening of ‘On the Edge’.

About Time to Change

Time to Change is a campaign linked to Mind which seeks to challenge the media on the way subjects such as depression and suicide are normally presented in the newspapers and on TV.

Not long ago Martin Freeth attended a workshop convened at the BBC by the campaign. There, the play ‘Pressing the Right Buttons’, written by Julie McKiernan and directed by Hellen Kirby, was performed by Cathy Conneff and William Vasey.

Martin was inspired to turn this thought-provoking piece into the film ‘On the Edge’ which was later shot on location in Sussex. Members of the team gave their time on this project for no fee or a low fee. We are delighted that the film will have its public premiere at Sunderland Shorts Film Festival.

1.00pm - Convene, Refreshments/Lunch


1.15pm - On The Edge

Martin Freeth will briefly introduce the film On The Edge which will then be shown.

1.30pm - Kathy McKenna-Churchill

LIFE Co-ordinator/Training Manager, Washington Mind will present the ‘A Life Worth Living’ campaign and explain some ideas about suicide prevention.


Speakers with experience of loved ones who have committed suicide or who have attempted to do so themselves, and people who understand depression in all its forms, will talk about their personal experiences.

2.30pm - Julie McKiernan

Julie McKiernan (the writer of the film) will outline how and why the original script was commissioned and performed, then guide the audience through the identification and analysis of ‘red flag’ moments within the film. She will re-run the film and then ask viewers to identify key moments and ideas.

3.00pm - Discussion/Refreshments

Either in a plenary session, or in separate groups, participants will be asked to discuss the main issues, share their view and report back. One of the actors in the film, William Vasey, will take part in these discussions.

3.45pm close

The sessions will take place on:

Friday 5th May
1.00 pm

The Place
Athenaeum Street

Want to attend?

Places at this workshop are completely free of charge.

To book your place at the workshop please contact: martin@mfreeth.com or call the festival team on 0191 561 1124

Sunderland Shorts is presented by

  • Sunderland City Council
  • DC Shorts
  • Bureau
  • Music Arts and Culture Trust
  • FilmFreeway