Over the past few years there have been key figures whom I consider to be amazing in their works in spreading awareness about the different facets of mental health. Today and tomorrow I will be sharing information on 8 people that I consider mental health awareness inspirations.
Deepika Padukone is a Bollywood actress who did an interview last year with NDTV on her experience with depression. I watched this interview at a time when I was experiencing depression and had difficulty articulating it. The nature of mental health is that it is often very difficult to express your experiences in a way that people understand. Her interview was a game changer for me because it captured so much of my experience. In addition she was incredibly brave in speaking about her experience in a country – India- where mental health is stigmatised / misunderstood at times. More importantly her interview generated an important conversation on depression, the nature of treatment and importance of support networks. Within a year she has also launched the Live Love Laugh Foundation which aims to help people with depression.
For anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of some of the symptoms of depression, Deepika Padukone’s interview here Interview is a must watch!
I love watching tennis because I think it is as much of a physical sport as it is mental. I randomly came across Mardy Fish’s interview on his anxiety two years ago. His description of his experience is heart wrenching and emotional. There was an unforgettable quote from him in the interview where he says:
‘To show weakness, we’re told, in so many words is to deserve shame. But I am here to show weakness. And I am not ashamed.’
This quote encapsulates a huge part of the experience for people with mental health illnesses such as anxiety disorder or depression. Part of what blocks conversation on mental health is the fear of being portrayed as weak in a society that at times punishes weakness. By making his experience public, Mardy Fish helped to create further awareness on anxiety disorder.
To read Mardy Fish’s interview with the Mardy Fish Interview ‘The Weight’
I fell in love with spoken word poetry became of Shane Koyczan. He is a poet who uses spoken word poetry to speak about various experiences including bullying and body image issues.
To This Day was an instrumental part of my teenage years at a period where I was not confident with my body and I internalised vicious comments that I received about my body (too skinny you see). His words pierce into your soul and the production of the videos are beautiful. Personally, I find that writing helps to create self awareness that is extremely beneficial with mental health.
Another favourite of mine is his video titled Trolls. In a world where people commit suicide based on cyber bullying, this is an important video on awareness about the psychological damages of bullying and abuse.
Gracie Francesca is a Youtube blogger and creator who shares personal insights on subjects such as body image, eating disorders and self harm. I absolutely love how raw, personal and open her videos are and what is even more special is the amount of support that the online community gives her. Her journey is exemplary of how vulnerability can bring about courage, love and strength. Her latest video on Youtube is absolutely stunning and you watch it on her Youtube channel here GracieFVictory.