One young man relives the day he stood at the edge of a cliff and considered suicide—that's the opening scene in a new Sanofi-sponsored documentary that tackles mental health issues among people with blood disorders.
“Let’s Talk” is a 40-minute film that debuted in August at the National Hemophilia Foundation annual conference featuring five patients recounting their mental health struggles and successes. Future screenings will include discussions afterward with the producer, patients in the film and mental health professionals.
The idea is to spur candid discussions and begin to erode the stigma around mental health. The film’s landing page offers additional resources and support.
While Sanofi’s role is mainly financial support for producer Believe Limited, the “Let’s Talk” mental health mission syncs with its own efforts to provide ongoing support to people with chronic conditions.
“We know that mental health is an invisible aspect of physical health and sometimes overlooked by doctors and others,” a Sanofi spokesperson said, adding that especially in the blood disorders community “there’s an unmet need for conversations and openness and resources on mental health.”
The people featured in the film all have bleeding disorders, but its message is broader than the hemophilia community.
“It’s not a hemophilia film, it’s a mental health film. It just happens to be about people who are struggling and have bleeding disorders,” said Patrick Lynch, founder and CEO of Believe Limited.
Lynch faced his own mental health struggles growing up with hemophilia. In 2018, he took his first step in mental health advocacy, writing a blog post about his personal path handling depression. The overwhelming response he received sparked the idea for “Let’s Talk.”
Lynch shared his idea with a Sanofi executive, who jumped on board and helped steer the project through approvals at the drugmaker.
“The idea is that this is the beginning of a conversation. We started with the film, and providing some education and resources, and we’ll continue to build on that,” he said.