I am collecting money for the MISTAG project trying to break the mental illness stigma.
MISTAG is a set of videos, interviews of people in different parts of the world who talk about their experience with mental illness. Some have recovered, some have not, but all want to break the silence and the stigma surrounding mental illness. The idea is to show mental illness experiences can happen to anyone regardless of nationality, religion, skin color, gender, money etc.
The project has three main goals:
1. Help people going through a mental illness experience to feel less lonely, less misunderstood. To know that this happens to other people, of all ages, all religions, all continents and that there is no reason to be ashamed of it. And to remind them that sometimes, beautiful things can also come out of it.
2. Help families, friends and anyone who haven’t experienced it to better understand what is happening to their child, friend etc., and to receive some advice from people who have lived / are having these experiences.
3. Improve the knowledge of psychology students and health professionals so they learn about the influence of culture on the patient’s experience. This will help to avoid misdiagnosis and allow the professional to use the strengths of the person’s culture and community in their recovery path.
I believe breaking the stigma means to touch both people living with a mental illness and people who have never experienced it.
In MISTAG, each person interviewed has a different message, a different experience and might speak a different language (but all interviews are subtitled in English). During the interviews, the questions are not only about the experience itself or the downsides of it. I also ask questions about the person, who they are, what they like… Because too often when we talk about mental health, we completely forget the whole person.
The money collected will allow the project to keep going and to grow. It will allows to give a voice to more people around the world. This means that the money will finance part of the travels' expenses to different associations for mental health in the world (and to where people want to be part of the project !). If possible it will also allow to employ someone to help film and edit the interviews.
I have been working alone on this project for a year now and have financed it all by myself, I would love to be able to continue but this is too demanding for one person only. Your help will allow this dream to come true and to help people all around the world. One of the main reasons why a person doesn't reach out for help and decides to take their life is shame and the fear of stigma, so please help us raise awareness around the globe to help and save lives !
I can't even express how much that would mean to me and to all of the MISTAG's voices and faces.