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A Recap of Egypt’s First Mental Health, Arts & Media Conference

egypt Media mental health Mental Health Awareness
A Recap of Egypt’s First Mental Health, Arts & Media Conference
written by
Daniel William
via Medfest

In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month, Rakhawy Institute for Training and Research collaborated with Medfest Egypt to form Egypt’s first-ever Mental Health, Arts, and Media Conference. The three-day conference took place from May 5th to 7th and was an educational and cultural platform that bridged the worlds of psychology, arts, and media through several workshops, movie screenings, and luminary talks.

Here’s a rundown of the most memorable moments that took place:


The Psychological Impact of the Working in Media

Research by Dr Greg Crosby, who came from the US, showcased the downside of being a part of the media industry, from how overwhelming fame is to the psychological impact many film roles have on actors.

The heartbreaking case of Heath Ledger overdosing after playing The Joker is an example of that. Let’s not forget about the rise of social media nowadays and the hateful comments that come with it.


Ethical Guidelines of Mental Health Content in Media


The roundtable talk featured psychology pioneers like Dr Mona El Rakhawy and Dr Nabil El Ott, alongside media personnel like El Harsha El Sab3a’s writer Mariam Naoum, actor and co-founder of Medfest Egypt, Mina El Naggar, producer Safei El Din Mahmoud, and others.

This was an effort to establish ethical guidelines and create a database of resources for reference purposes. Their overall goal is to ensure an accurate representation of medical topics in media.

Writing & Self-discovery

Led by writers Ragaie Moussa and Mona El Shimy, participants got to go on a self-exploratory journey. With a set of thought-provoking interactive exercises, from coming up with a letter that they hypothetically received and giving a reply to facing their traumas and pains through the narration of their dreams. All we can say is that many tears were shed during the two-hour workshop.


The Psychodynamics of Grief

The screening of Sayed Ragab’s Habeeb opened a conversation about grief. The writer and director, Shady Fouad, explained how he prepped for delivering such a heartwarming short movie about the stages of grief for geriatrics.


Mental Health Dimensions in Egyptian Drama

Research-based results proved that viewers of El Harsha El Sab3a got motivated to seek therapy after watching the show. The masterminds behind it, director Karim El Shenawy and writer Mariam Naoum took the stage to walk us through how they were devoted to creating change, especially after the impact Khaly Balak Men Zizi had on its viewers a couple of years ago.


Narratives of Aging in Film

Last but definitely not least was a panel led by Dr Khaled Ali, a Sudanese doctor of geriatrics and co-founder of Medfest Egypt, shedding light on the psychological aspect of ageing. He backed his studies with the screening of a short Sudanese movie, Studio, visualising the story of a senior struggling with loneliness and solitude.