William James College Hosts Virtual Film Screening of Military Mental Health Film “Visions of Warriors,” and Q&A Featuring Film Director
“Visions of Warriors” follows four veterans battling mental health issues with a powerful new weapon: photography
Update (11/16/20): Thank you to all who attended this event. WJC community members, please contact the MVP program for film access past this date.
William James College will host a free, public screening of the film "Visions of Warriors" and a Q&A panel discussion featuring the film's director and William James College student, faculty and alumni veterans. The film will be available to registered participants via a password protected link from Monday, November 2, to Sunday, November 15, 2020. The Q&A panel discussion will take place on Tuesday, November 10, at Noon EST. This event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required.
Visions of Warriors is a feature length documentary by Humanist Films that tells the story of four veterans, from the Vietnam era to the Iraq War, their struggle to regain mental wellbeing and battle PTSD, and the healing they found through photography while participating in the Veteran Photo Recovery Project at the VA Menlo Park.
William James College is home to two innovative Military Psychology training programs. The Military and Veteran Psychology (MVP) emphasis is a coordinated array of efforts designed to train culturally-competent mental health professionals – veterans and civilians alike – to provide services to military service members, veterans, and their families. The program also provides a supportive community on campus for student veterans, family, and friends of military personnel, and for those interested in working with veterans and military families. MVP’s signature program Train Vets to Treat Vets® (TVTV) is specifically for veterans and provides a unique training opportunity designed to prepare them to work with fellow veterans.
MVP leadership selected Visions of Warriors because the film offers “a realistic look into veterans lives and what they go through,” said Dr. Jenny D’Olympia, interim director of the MVP and TVTV programs. D’Olympia, an Air Force veteran, said she hopes that through the film and discussion participants see the value of a multidisciplinary approach to mental health treatment. It also offers an example of the ways in which a “non-clinical” approach can bring meaning into people’s lives.
“While photography is the final connecting approach in this film, I think any medium that helps veterans connect with each other and helps them bring words to their experiences brings value to their lives and gives them meaning,” D’Olympia said. “Also, being able to share these meaningful experiences offers an opportunity for influence. Influence and connection are vital.”
Colonel (Ret.) Corey A. New, U.S. Army, a student in the College’s Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching program and a panelist for the event noted that recent studies focusing on veteran’s well-being that focused on employer perceptions and societal public views, find that misperceptions about veterans continue to exist and may impede veterans’ transitions back into the civilian world.
“My personal post-retirement transition and engagement with business leaders resonates with these misperceptions,” New said. “Education, outreach and programming opportunities like this are exactly what needs to happen to overcome these misperceptions.”
The film, D’Olympia said, not only brings attention to the mental health needs but also the importance of the community support needed to help with readjustment and treatment.
Panelists for the Q& A discussion are: Film Producer, Writer and Director Ming Lai; Moderator, Dr. Jenny D’Olympia (interim director of the MVP and TVTV programs and director of the College’s online master of arts in psychology program); Colonel (Ret.) Corey A. New, U.S. Army (student, Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching); Jessica Price (Clinical Psychology PsyD student, dual concentrating in Military & Veteran Psychology (MVP) and Forensic Psychology); Mary Grabowski, William James College alumna and Coast Guard Veteran; and Marc Abelard, decorated Marine Corps Combat Veteran; director, Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Human Services; director, Behavioral Health Service Corps).
About William James College
Founded in 1974, William James College is an independent, non-profit institution and a leader in educating the next generation of mental health professionals to support the growing and diverse needs of the mental health workforce. Integrating field work with academics, the College prepares students for careers as organizational leaders and behavioral health professionals who are committed to helping the underserved, multicultural populations, children and families, and veterans. William James College alumni can be found making an impact in a variety of settings, including schools, the courts, clinical care facilities, hospitals, the community and the workplace.
Director of Communications, William James College