“You don’t need a book deal, or a blue tick in your twitter to be worthy of talking about your experiences”. Bethany Rose Lamont, Doll Hospital.
We have seen a growing movement towards a more open and real conversation about mental health. Real change through genuine people from a range of disciplines weaving the subject of mental wellbeing into the everyday culture through sharing stories and creating unique projects. I am proud that my Spotlight Q&A project was able to reflect this positive momentum and I’m extremely grateful for all involved.
My aim for Spotlight Q&A was to speak with these project creators. I wanted to find out where their passion comes from, their goals, and how through the unique individual stories they themselves find balance, manage worry and find peace in our always-connected society. It has been a long-running project which aimed to collate real, raw response which can work to inform, inspire and soothe the reader.
The project underlined the fact that when you talk about mental health it has to come from the heart to have an impact. Such raw and honest narrative create change. And I am motivated by this. I am motivated by those who know a better world is possible and fight for that. People who are thriving despite ongoing mental health issues. Those bravely speaking out and using language that goes to the heart because it’s from the heart. Inspiring the notion that we are all in this together.
It’s been a privilege to speak with the following individuals and I hope their responses have helped you too.
Anna Jones is a cook, stylist and writer.
“It fills me with joy to see more and more people opening up and talking about mental health — having honest conversations about how we really feel is an important shift in our communal consciousness. But until talking about our mental health is as normal as discussing the horrible cold we have there is still work to do. Our mental health is such a precious balance, we must do all we can on a personal, community and humanity level to nourish and protect it. I salute Andy for the work he is doing to foster this important connection.” Anna Jones.
Gina Yu — a Creative Director from Atlanta. Aside from her role working for the creative agency Cuz, Gina Yu’s multi-faceted talent has led to freelance work in writing, editing and photography.
Sanctus offer coaching sessions and workshops designed to improve the organisational approach to staff mental health.
Rachel Kelly is a prominent progressive voice within the media. She is a writer, journalist and mental health campaigner.
Dr Barbara Mariposa is a renowned thought leader in the field of workplace wellbeing and created the pioneering Mind Mood Mastery programme.
Hope Hall is a videographer with over 40 short films selected for prestigious film festivals worldwide, she also lays claim to being Barack Obama’s presidential videographer for 6 years.
Ethar Hamid — Based in Virginia, Ethar’s words and illustrations have featured in niche publications on mental health and activism both in the UK and US.
Matthew Green is a journalist working to document the impact of war trauma on British military veterans. Green previously spent 14 years as a foreign correspondent working for Reuters and the Financial Times, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Doll Hospital is a project created by Bethany Rose Lamont offering an extremely personal, honest and creative exploration of mental health through a unique printed journal. The bi-annual publication encourages work with an intersectional focus rooted in self-advocacy.
Hope Virgo is a mental health campaigner and author of Stand Tall Little Girl. Hope suffered from anorexia for over 4 years.
Stëfanie Lyn Kaufman is the founder of Project Lets, a project based in the US aiming to bring university-level students with lived experience of disability & mental illness together to create sustainable systems of peer support on campus.
Depressed whilst black created by writer and activist Imade Nibokun features mental health stories from an African-American lens.
Emma Michelle and Stephanie Rauccio are the founders of Mental Movement Magazine; an online multi award-winning multi-author blog and wellbeing/mental health magazine.
Laura Bartley is an up and coming UK blogger with a recent feature in the Metro.
“I was able to see that the current state of a person is the sum of a life unseen.” Gina Yu
Thank you for your time and interest in the project.