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Florence Kosky on Mental Health, and the importance of taking time to unwind and self care

London based model, actress and filmmaker Florence Kosky, is about to release her film that deals with youth suicide and wants to encourage people asking for help when needed.

The 21- year young, who is represented by Models 1, shows complete commitment when telling us about the poem the film is based on,  and reminds us about the importance of taking time to unwind and self care. Her film “All The World’s A Stage”will be out at the Occasion of the Mental Health Awareness Week.

 

What do you love about yourself?

Oh, this is hard to answer without sounding like a dick! Ha, but if I’m honest, I know who I am as a person and that means I am always true to myself in how I act and treat others and I guess I’m pretty proud of that.

And what things you question about yourself in order to evolve as a person?

If a situation is making me feel bad, I try to unpick what I’ve done to contribute to it – if you can accept responsibility for your fuck ups then you absolutely learn from them. Obviously easier said than done, but I think like at least being aware of what you’ve done and not just parring the blame off onto other people allows you to move forward rather than using someone else as an excuse. It’s funny cause this is something I’ve actually been thinking about a lot recently – I came out of my first ‘proper’ relationship at the end of last year and I didn’t actually begin to be able to heal and move on from it until I stopped being like ‘omg he’s such a dick’ and actually reflected on how difficult I can be (as we all can!), and it actually allowed me to let go of any resentment and try to reel in those behaviours.. still working on it, but I can feel myself moving forward. (I would just like to say this doesn’t apply to situations that involve abuse of any kind – no one is at fault there except the abuser!)

You are currently working on your new film “All The World’s A Stage” which deals with the topics such as depression, anxiety and suicide with the support of the Mental Health Foundation. Can you tell us a bit about it?

“All The World’s A Stage” is a film based on a poem a friend of mine, Charlie Fox, wrote a few years ago when we lost a mutual friend to suicide. It had this really lovely fairytale quality to it that allows you to access the intense subject matter without it being too heavy to provoke thought and this is something I tried to translate into the visuals as well, with surreal and timeless set pieces and heightened lighting. Keeping the fairytale quality was super important to me because I think it’s what is gonna allow people to actually reflect on it and hopefully have some kind of positive impact – that’s all I want from it really, if one person sees it and asks for help, then that would mean more to me than anything else. I was very lucky to have a hugely talented team that came on board to back the cause, and I’m proud of what we’ve created! It’s been kind of wild as well because the cast and crew have just spiralled into this amazingly talented group of people and everything’s just kept moving forward. We started with a crowdfunder and then from there we had people one by one joining and I really am grateful to everyone whose worked on it. Like, from in front of the camera there’s been the wonderfully talented Jonathan Forbes (Catastrophe, Fearless) and Amber Anderson (Black Mirror, Strike) who were both absolute dreams to direct, and then into post production we’ve been incredibly lucky to have recorded our score at Abbey Road Studios, which actually happened directly off the back of the crowdfunded which is pretty surreal! And we just did a voice over session with Olivia Colman (Peep Show, Broadchurch) which was mind blowing because she’s one of my personal heroes and to work with her on a project that is so close to my heart literally did not feel real. I’m very excited to share it with you all!

 

“If you can accept responsibility for your fuck ups then you absolutely learn from them”

 

What do you think people need to know about mental health and self-care?

I think people need to know that it’s okay to ask for help. That’s the most important thing you can do really and that’s why it’s so important that culturally, we continue to break down the stigma around mental illness so people can feel comfortable coming forward and ask for help without feeling shame or judgement – we need to treat mental health the same way we do with physical health and I think this is where self care comes in. You know that if you eat badly, don’t get enough sleep etc you are going to feel bad physically and the same goes for your mental health. You have to look after yourself and take time to unwind so that stress doesn’t get on top of you and you have some space to yourself. Whether it’s having a bath or reading a book or whatever, I think it’s particularly important to take a break from social media and the mental pressures that comes from that. Just take 15 minutes a day to do something simple that you love! It will make you much happier than scrolling through Instagram.

I know that the following question needs a detailed answer, but perhaps you can tell roughly: If I know someone struggling with depression, how can I help?

I think the most important thing to do is to make sure that that person knows they can talk to you. In my experience – and I am definitely not a doctor and by no means an expert, but sadly have just had a lot of people close to me who struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts – people tend to feel like a burden or like they are letting you down by needing to speak you, and you just need to let them know they aren’t doing those things. Remind them what it is you love about them! Bring them their favourite snacks! Sit and watch sad films and cry it out with them! I guess just give them what you’d want if you were feeling ill or sad. But remember, you’re not their doctor, and while you can talk and listen and distract them, they still will need professional help and whilst you absolutely should encourage them to seek that out, you can’t take responsibility for that. There are lots of support systems out there as well that you could edge someone towards and there are lots of ones that target groups who are most at risk – HopeLineUK (0800 068 41 41) is a helpline for people under 35, The Silver Line (0800 470 80 90) is for older people who are struggling, CALM (0800 58 58 58) is for men and there’s also The Samaritans (116 123) who are there for everyone. The people who staff these lines are trained and know how to respond if there’s an emergency and you can also call if you are worried about someone else and need someone to talk you through what you need to do – don’t be afraid of them, they’re a wonderful resource and they want to help.

 

“I think people need to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”

 

What movie character are you most like?

Oh god! Probably somewhere between Bridget Jones and Samantha Jones. I wish it was someone cooler like The Bride from Kill Bill or Galadriel but I think we all know that would be a big lie.

Where do you like going for walks in London?

There’s a really lovely walk along the canal from Angel to Hackney that is beautiful in the summer.

What are you most grateful for?

My family and friends! I have such a solid and stable base around me, I really am grateful. I don’t think I would have coped with the pressure of modelling and travelling so much if I hadn’t had such a strong unit! I’m a lucky lady!

 

 

Favorite parfum?

Diptique Fleur de Peau

Favorite movie?

Eeek, the answer to this changes hourly! But I’ve been travelling all day and I’m knackered and right now I would want nothing more than to watch Spirited Away or Lost In Translation cause I’ve seen them so many times they’re like comfort blankets to me, so I guess in this moment one of those?

Favorite flower?

White lilies always and forever!

What do you wish people would stop asking you?

People do this thing where if they find out you’re a model they think it’s okay to ask you about your relationship to food and how much you get paid. It’s rude and I wouldn’t be miffed if I never got asked that again.