Not about the latest award show, or grumpy cat, or Game of Thrones, although we can certainly talk about that later.
Let’s talk about that one thing that everyone knows, that everyone hears, and sees. That thing on the tip of your tongue waiting to turn into speech but somehow the words just can’t leap free. Everyone is affected, and everyone shuts it out.
I’m talking about mental illness. Anxiety, stress, depression, addiction. A countless spectrum of disorders that touches the lives of every person, but for some reason remains stigmatized in society. I know, I hate to say it but I am part of the problem too. I have my fair share of loved ones that suffer in silence from a mental illness, and I feel too paralyzed to say anything to them, knowing the label is far worse than suffering alone. I fear their reaction to hearing the truth. That is why I created a poster campaign, because I want to turn my silence into words and break that loneliness that surrounds people with mental illness. For me, even if just one person will see these posters and know they aren’t alone, that would be enough. I’m hoping by including facts about different disorders people will begin to realize that mental illness is not some imagined plight but rather a real, physical, biological issue.
Each poster was done with pencil and watercolour paints on watercolour paper and then scanned. The goal of this campaign was to juxtapose a mental illness and the facts around it with a real person, that anyone could relate to. The paintings are meant to look like mugshots. This was to illustrate how someone may feel in sharing their mental illness, such as exposed, vulnerable, or judged. The sign acts as a label that colors how we see the person. All of this was done to visibly represent stigma, and hopefully by including relate able faces of real people it can show how wrong that stigma is.
Posters will be up all over Carleton campus, and voting for each campaign will occur at the end of March. All #JustOneThing campaigns are available on Facebook, so please check them out.
Right now is just a preview, but here will be some of the faces of mental illness: