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Triple Effect – Who cares for the carer?

Nov 07 2019

It’s the second impact film about carers of people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that has started to turn heads locally.

In partnership with Carers Queensland, Seeding Time Pictures will launch their latest production “Triple Effect- Who cares for the carer?” documentary early next year.

The documentary tells the story of three carers looking after their partners who have all experienced PTSD and how they take a stand for their own dreams and identity. The thread line through all the three stories is art. Kim Herringe is an artist.

She uses printmaking as her form of therapy; she runs workshops to share her skills and will soon publish her artist’s book PTSD- a love story.

Catherine Sadler grew up living onsite in Gympie Fire Station and watched her mother cope with her father’s role as Chief Officer. She does art and craft, also as a
form of therapy and has taught her children too.

Katie Tonacia felt stigmatised in her Australian Federal Police (AFP) job for being married to someone with PTSD. She partnered with her paramedic friend to
start educating people about the stigma of mental health, while doing art therapy classes.

The film not only highlights the role of the carer in our communities – one in eight Australians is a carer – but raises awareness of the need for carer respite and
support for loved ones looking after those with PTSD.

“Triple Effect- Who cares for the carer?” follows a series of short documentary films called “The Ripple Effect of PTSD” produced by Kym Melzer in 2016 with
Australian veterans, but shifts the focus on the carers.

As with any artistic creation, behind this motion picture there was a diligent production staff that worked intensively together for many hours, on every aspect
of it.

We spoke to writer/producer, Kym Melzer about this project, its narrative and the process for deciding and creating the film.

‘Who cares for the carer’ is a carefully developed film that manages to address so many social issues. Why carers?

From our previous work with veterans with PTSD, we saw the need for more services and discussion around the caring role. The film covers topics such
as intergenerational trauma, stigma in the workplace, mental illness and love. It starts a conversation about normalising mental health and deserving to be loved.

This is a passion project. The film is not necessarily classed as entertainment. It’s a high production impact documentary and we’ve actually made it to address these social issues, which resonate with a lot of different types of relationships and families.

What choices did you have to make to guarantee that your two films would look and feel different?

This film puts the spotlight on the carer. Carers actually need to be part of their partner’s recovery process and have a say in what services need to be improved or available. These stories are different from the ones in The Ripple Effect of PTSD as the loved ones are first responders and the caregivers all use creative arts as their therapy.

In terms of narrative, what was the thought process when crafting the Triple Effect?

The film’s story was crafted with a clear message in mind: if you need help, there is help available. It is told in an engaging way, with art as the common
thread through the carers’ narratives.

Everyone’s caring story is situational and we are all different. Some people may be more remote, others may have more services, but still need different ways
of support. The main thing is for them to know that they are not alone. They might feel isolated, but there are many people like them that they connect with through online services or community art classes.