Nurse turned filmmaker Ledet Muleta is making movies to combat mental illness


After working with mental illness patients for 13 years in Washington DC, you have to would have to agree with us that Muleta has a good level of experience in this area. She must have seen the good the bad and the even the ugly.

In 13 years she learned how to deal with acute psychiatric conditions and take care of patients that smaller hospitals could not cater for. However, Muleta was not comfortable with the stigma that surrounded mental health, especially in Africa. She had visited a few African countries and she did not like the amount of care given to mental health patients. Muleta dreamed of replicating the level of care the patients received in the hospital she worked.

After volunteering as a nurse with refugees in Washington D.C, mostly from Ethiopia and Eritrea, Muleta could not hold back; the stories she heard and the heartache she felt enabled her to be fearless and take a stand.

First, she started Medixaa Health Services to address the lack of proper mental health care in many African countries. However when she realized that that was not enough, she asked herself “What is the loudest way to make a statement?”


This led to her latest project, CHULA, a film about an accomplished pianist from an Ethiopian immigrant family who struggles with bipolar disorder. The film presents mental illness as non-discriminatory since it affects people from all backgrounds.

Muleta’s goal is to reduce the stigma of mental illness so people realize that it can be treated just like any other chronic illness.


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