Why advocating for mental health?
Enough is enough. I have suffered in silence for many years. I have pushed my pain to a far end of consciousness. Did it help? No, it made it worse. It has driven me to some drastic approaches...
When I have opened up about my mental health, I discovered a community, a tribe of like-minded people, who understand and support; a place where I feel a...belonging. I could have stopped there. Why haven't I? Because stigma still exists! I have experienced it first hand, and it inflicted a lot of pain. I wish that my advocacy reduces the pain others are subjected to. I strongly believe that ill mental health should be perceived through the same lenses the ill physical health is. Both are associated with pain, affect day-to-day functioning, pose limitations to what we can or cannot do. I refuse to be discriminated against. I refuse to be treated as a second class human. I refuse to be stigmatised!
Enough is enough!
Mental Health Advocacy
Art My Medicine Podcast
Since I have turned to art in 2019 after a massive mental health breakdown, I discovered the healing properties of art making and started to refer to my creative engagements as my medicine. I have also noticed that many others do the exact thing - use artistic forms to ease mental health struggles, to give them a voice, to heal and recover. Therefore, on the fortnightly basis I engage in conversations with other creatives to explore the topic further via The Mental Health Warriors TV.
Creative Release for Mental Wellness
Creative Release For Mental Wellness (CRfMW) was a collaboration between two artists: Dorota Chioma & Jennifer Mazur, who use art to support their mental wellness. They share their stories of how creativity plays a crucial role in their mental health recovery. Throughout 2021CRfMW run events and workshops sharing creative approaches that anyone can use to ease stress and mental health challenges, even if they perceive themselves as having no artistic skills. Dorota and Jennifer believe in healing properties of art. You can watch the art workshops on YouTube
This Zine Has Issues (TZHI)
Co-editor of the magazine aiming to break stigma associated with ill mental health through creative expression of visual arts, poetry, photography, and any other 2D creative nonfiction.
Time To Change and other anti-stigma movements
Time to Change was a mental health campaign in England, launched in 2007 with the objective of reducing mental health-related stigma and discrimination. Although it has ceased operating in March 2021, the legacy of this movement is carried out through many groups across England who may have TTC in their name or may not due to rebranding. Champions did not stop championing. Therefore, I collaborate with a few hubs and initiatives which continue to fight to break stigma, in particular: Mums Aid, Time To Change Kingston, Time To Change Waltham Forest, Let's Talk Greenwich, Talk to Change London Network, Centrepieces Mental Health Art Project, Perspective Project, What's Going On In Your Head, The Mental Health Warriors, to name a few...