Changing Our Ways

A new feature documentary by Article One and The Big Anxiety

Completed Nov 2023

They call it an epidemic. 

The community of Warwick reels with the regularity of suicides and significant mental health struggles. inspired by participating in events and community programs delivered by The Big Anxiety, and driven by their own lived-experiences, a group of local women decide to take action. They want to find grassroots ways to respond and provide the type of care and support they know people are missing. But can our society and systems change to meet the complex and diverse mental health needs that people have?


Feature length documentary - 61m

Currently entered into film festivals

Seeking broadcast or streaming distribution


Cynthia, Cushla and Nanette are connected by loss and trauma. They’ve all tragically lost young members of their own or extended family as their hometown of Warwick battles with what many locals refer to as an “epidemic” of suicide and mental health struggles. For many, it’s a battle that their families have experienced for generations. 

While governments continue to pledge more and more funding, initiatives and services towards mental health support, something just isn’t working. It’s evidenced by the constant stories from regional Australia describing the source of the problem being a lack of resourcing locally driven strategies.

Cynthia is a community organiser. She’s surrounded by the pain and confusion her family and friends go through from seemingly constant loss of young people who’ve lost hope. She first met Cushla at The Big Anxiety’s in Warwick, the first of many community-centred events offering and developing creative thinking about mental health and suicide prevention. 

Having lost her daughter only a few years prior, Cushla's profound sharing at the workshops connected them deeply. Nanette, an Indigenous woman with Kooma connections, also attended the event, finding her voice at a Long Table discussion talking about her grandson's recent attempt to take his life. The community discussion had been called in response to the recent death of a young man whose family felt he was turned away from the local hospital. Holly attended the Long Table. The openness of people she both knew and some she’d just met struck her. 

Since these events these women have become inspired, meeting regularly with other locals to create a safe space where they can support each other to talk through the losses and grief they’ve experienced.  Through regular conversation and planned activities they hope to build support structures within the community that people can access. They also want to connect with others in the community who are similarly forming their own groups to find ways they can share their resources and ideas.  

Throughout their work to build support for each other and their community, The Big Anxiety team continued to stay in contact with the women. Together they planned and delivered several smaller events led by Indigenous facilitator and midwife Marianne Wobcke. 

The group’s hope is that strengthening connections and creating spaces and activities where people can have real interactions will help people to not only manage their pain but find community-centred ways to prevent suicide and address mental health struggles. Yet, despite the hope that drives them, they remain concerned and at times angry about what they see as failing government health systems in their community. 

Perhaps a significant missing piece in the suite of tools available for creating healthier communities lies in creative, community-driven, lived-experience action. Yet what do these approaches look like and what sort of resourcing is required? And how do grassroots strategies like this work in relation to our current approaches?

“The system isn’t working, we all know that. This film centres an important conversation that needs to be had about how we support people who are struggling with their mental health.”

Key Participants

“Everyone struggles. We need better ways to support people through grief and trauma.”

The Big Anxiety Team

“Changing Our Ways is an important story, it's a discussion that we should all be having in our own communities.”

Production Team


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