Sobering Films: a local short film effort to help those struggling with addiction

Community is key.

Local musician and creator of Barrie Live Music Show, Jake Mathias, has begun creating short films about the stories of those who are battling addiction.

Titled Sobering Films, each video in the series is around 15-minutes in length and features a story of courage and hope from those facing alcohol, sex, gambling, and drug addictions. Videos will eventually even feature some who struggle with eating disorders. Jake, who has been sober himself for nearly 3 years now, was moved to create this series after seeing addiction-related deaths increase during the pandemic and the absence of what are called “Open Meetings” where people looking to get sober can go to get help and hear stories of recovery. When asked why he wanted to do this, Jake said “With my YouTube and social media background, it made it an easy choice for me. Some don’t agree, some love it. I personally think if we can save one life that it’s worth it no matter what people think.”

Mental Health has always been an important issue but with the growing isolation brought about from the pandemic, it has become an even more crucial talking point. The Centre for Addictions and Mental Health conducted a survey of Canadian over the age of 18 over a seven-month period of the pandemic and these were just a few of the high-level results:

  • 24.3 per cent of survey respondents had moderate to severe anxiety levels. Over all six surveys, respondents with children under 18 in the household reported higher levels of anxiety as compared to those without children in this age group.
  • 23.3 per cent of respondents reported that they felt lonely occasionally or most of the time in the past week. Over all six surveys, women reported higher levels of loneliness as compared to men.
  • 21.7 per cent of participants reported feeling depressed occasionally or most of the time in the past week.
  • 19.4 per cent of participants reported seeking help for mental health concerns from a counsellor or health care provider (online or in person) at least once during the past week.

The CAMH has also created a Covid-19 Hub with information, FAQs, and resources.

It is no secret that the pandemic has been (and continues to be) a strain on the mental health of Canadians everywhere, especially for those battling addiction, but it is always important to know that you are not alone, be it through some of the special resources available to you or through extraordinary efforts made by people like Jake Mathias.

Be sure to head over the Sobering Films YouTube Channel, check out all the videos, and subscribe.

Featured image courtesy of Sobering Films via