These inspiring personal stories of people living with emotional and mental health issues were created during a four-day workshop led by experienced film-makers. Each person wrote, voiced, created and edited their film.   

The storytellers are from culturally diverse backgrounds. They de­cided that ‘Finding our way’ captures the collective spirit of the stories.   

As far as we know, this project is the first of its kind in Australia. Listening to migrant and refugee stories can be sad, moving, and uplifting. Above all it presents an opportunity to gain greater insight and empathy towards people who are not only making a life in a new coun­try but facing mental health issues as well.   Their words and ideas are invaluable for everyone in the Australian community.

Who owns these stories?

Can we use these videos for education purposes? Do we need MHiMA’s permission to do this?

Why won’t the videos play on my computer?

Will MHiMA and ACMI run more workshops and create more stories in the future?

Click the image to watch the film.

  • Dear SelfAkeemi.

    Childhood memories, moving to a new country, feelings of isolation and efforts to connect are among experiences that inspire Akeemi’s healing ‘letter to self’, with original drawings and paintings.

    Also available to watch on YouTube

  • My Faith, My Anchor, Chandima.

    Chandima’s story is about migration from Sri Lanka, faith in God and her family: inspirations for personal recovery and the desire to help others.

    Also available to watch on YouTube

  • Doe Doh’s Story, Doe Doh.

    A harsh childhood lived on the Thai-Burma border, yearning for freedom and seizing the possibilities of ‘now’. Karen with English subtitles.

  • Psychiatric Superhero, James.

    The author voices scenes from his graphic novel about a light warrior’s deep inner struggles and his resolve to overcome them. 

    Also available to watch on YouTube

  • Spreading Joy, Kim.

    Origami, laughter, good food, kindness: Kim’s ingredients for a fulfilled life and taking a positive approach to recovery. Mandarin with English subtitles.

    Also available to watch on YouTube

  • Linh’s Story, Linh.

    Linh discusses overcoming severe mental illness with the help of her loving family, feeling welcome in new country and going on holidays. Vietnamese with English subtitles.


    The Visual Conductor, Maria.

    A story about family expectations, taking charge and staying well involving art, personal goals and play.

  • Becoming, Nevena.

    From civil war, loss and uncertainty to safety: a refugee’s unfolding story. A lifelong journey toward happiness and inner peace.

    Also available to watch on YouTube

  • I am Colours, Tuan.

    ‘Colours within me connect me to colours around me.’ Tuan sews beautiful hand­made objects and uses his keen sense of colour to connect with other people and the world around him.

    Also available to watch on YouTube


Each digital story is original and owned by its creator.

This project was created and developed by Mental Health in Multicultural Australia (MHiMA) in conjunction with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI).

Victorian Transcultural Mental Health (VTMH), St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne and the Centre for International Mental Health (CIMH) at the University of Melbourne managed the project. 

Project coordination for MHiMA by Erminia Colucci & Susan McDonough. 

Presented by the Digital Story-telling Program of ACMI, 2014.

Thank you to all the individual storytellers, their families and friends, the film-makers, support workers and everyone else who helped in the telling of these stories. The participants and or­ganisers hope it encourages others to share their experiences.