“We leave the gown in the locker room”, patients and caregivers bring an association to life in Périgueux
6 mins read

“We leave the gown in the locker room”, patients and caregivers bring an association to life in Périgueux

VSis the story of the commission from a director of a quarter-hour institutional video, which became a 72-minute film, with poster, trailer, press kit, exploitation visa (1) and projection in a real cinema hall. “Change (bath water)” is a documentary directed by Fred Roumagne (who also wrote the music), following interviews conducted in 2022 with members of the Phoenix mental health care association in Périgueux ( Dordogne). “Speech has been freed, patients have seized it and…

VSis the story of the commission from a director of a quarter-hour institutional video, which became a 72-minute film, with poster, trailer, press kit, exploitation visa (1) and projection in a real cinema hall. “Change (bath water)” is a documentary directed by Fred Roumagne (who also wrote the music), following interviews conducted in 2022 with members of the Phoenix mental health care association in Périgueux ( Dordogne). “The word was freed up, the patients took hold of it and it became something completely different from what I was initially called upon for,” confirms Fred Roumagne.

Fred Roumagne, the director, with president Cécile Lacroix-Tenant.


Fred Roumagne, the director, with president Cécile Lacroix-Tenant.

Philippe Greiller

Created in 2006, the association brings together caregivers and patients from the adult psychiatry center of the Périgueux hospital center. Around 80 people who organize collaborative therapeutic workshops. Theater, adapted sports, visual arts, cultural outings, cafeteria, gardening, etc., meetings are regular, for the most part in Périgueux, and for some in Excideuil.

” Life buoy “

Originality within Phoenix: no distinction between patients and caregivers, who leave “the gown – “a barrier” – in the locker room”. They share positions on the board of directors.

“We are sick, but we still know how to do things”

Everyone decides and does things together, based on each person’s desires and skills. “Among patients, the skills are sometimes a little buried, but you just have to go find them and make them want to pass them on,” explains Laurence Bouchekif, occupational therapist and treasurer of Phoenix. “We are sick, but we still know how to do things,” says Stéphanie, a member of the association for two and a half years.

Doctor Jean-Marie Larivière, psychiatrist, speaks in the film of “exchanges of knowledge”. His colleague Julien Ganiayre affirms the importance for patients to “feel useful” within a group, to be of service and to be active in their care, which involves something other than medication alone. “Once we’re there, we’ve managed to get up and get ready, we forget that we didn’t necessarily want to come,” admits Stéphanie. “The association was my lifeline,” says Éliane, while Nathalie speaks of a “lighthouse”. “Between us, we understand each other, we don’t judge each other,” adds Aude. Another patient speaks of an “invisible link between us”.

Destigmatizing mental illness

The documentary has a dual ambition: to reduce prejudice and destigmatize mental illness, “still taboo”, particularly among loved ones. “It is often compared to madness,” sighs Stéphanie. “Change (bath water)” was screened in February at Studio 53 in Boulazac, in partnership with Ciné Passion, in front of a full house.

“My family was there, they said they understood me better,” says Stéphanie. “We are proud of this film. It clearly shows that we are a team,” continues Anita. “Fred put us at ease, he asked the right questions,” says Aude. “When I go home after a workshop, I feel better,” breathes Philippe. It’s the word “therapeutic” that matters to me. »

Humor and emotion color the work. Tears sometimes flow, laughter often bursts out and coffee flows freely. It always starts with a coffee in Phoenix. “Coffee is important,” points out Cécile Lacroix-Tenant, nurse and president of the association. Lots of things are at stake in this sharing of a little black man.

By the way, why the title “Change (the bathwater)”? To find out, you have to watch the film until the 68th minute.

(1) The legal deposit is being finalized.

Looking for funds

The Phoenix association has created two solidarity shops open to all (clothing, crockery, books, trinkets, etc.). In Périgueux, in the third place l’Atelier de l’Ehpad Parrot, one Wednesday per month from 2 to 4 p.m. (April 10, May 29 and June 19); in Excideuil in the Ciella district, next to Sogedo, every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The funds raised through these stores and the Wednesday cafeteria at the Périgueux day center helped finance the film, whose total budget is approaching 10,000 euros. But the structure is looking for money to ensure the broadcast of the documentary and to go to Moselle in May, where it was selected for the international Psy festival in Lorquin. She can be contacted on the Association Phoenix Soins en Santé Mentale Facebook page and by email at [email protected], including to organize a broadcast of the film.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *