“Breaking Loneliness” is a new documentary by filmmaker Brandy Yanchyk about people finding ways to escape loneliness and social isolation. Loneliness is a social epidemic that is impacting all age groups around the world. Although most of us are connected on social media, we have never felt more alone. Many of us find ourselves isolated from our communities and feeling lonely.
In this new documentary, Breaking Loneliness, we follow four people; John Chief Moon, Jace Laing-Schroeder, Tom Greyson and Julie Kraychy — who have worked to overcome their own loneliness and social isolation and are now helping others to battle theirs.
John Chief Moon is an Indigenous Peer Support Worker with the Canadian Mental Health Association in Calgary, Alberta. John is from the Blood Reserve and is Blackfoot First Nations and is considered an “elder-in-training”. John helps people with their loneliness and social isolation by connecting them with First Nations’ culture. John spends his time talking to people living on the street, those in detox centres, youth centres and the staff that helps many of these at risk groups.
Jace Laing-Schroeder is a 2SLGBTQ+ Liaison and Peer Support Worker for the Canadian Mental Health Association in Calgary, Alberta. Jace identifies as a trans, non-binary person and uses the pronouns They / Them / Theirs.
Jace works at the CMHA’s Recovery College and Welcome Centre supporting people and helping them connect to their community. Growing up, Jace experienced bullying and had thoughts of suicide and has brought this lived experience to their work helping others.
Tom Greyson is a senior living in Edmonton, Alberta. After his wife died, Tom felt very lonely and isolated and decided to help himself by helping others through volunteerism.
Tom volunteers with the organization Drive Happiness, driving other seniors around who have limited income, mobility and other health related issues. Through his volunteerism, Tom has helped many seniors come out of isolation by driving them to community centres for activities and making sure they get to their medical appointments easily.
Julie Kraychy is a senior who teaches other seniors English as a Second Language in Edmonton, Alberta. Julie experienced depression, loneliness and social isolation after her husband died and she experienced financial problems. Julie decided to come out of isolation by working as an English as a Second Language teacher for other seniors who want to learn English so they can connect to their new homeland, Canada.