Freakquencee on Manifesting Affirmations, the Real Influence of Trauma on Her Life, and Mental Health in the Family Sphere

“I grew up in a household where discussing mental health wasn’t really a thing. As a child in my household it always seemed like the more you held in, the stronger you looked in the eyes of everyone else. Talking about mental health is still something that isn’t easily done in my family. There are a lot of stereotypes surrounding seeking therapy/counseling, some that may have turned my family off completely from seeking mental health. Some like you have to have money to afford talking to a therapist, mental health is only for crazy people, and mental health only being a thing for white people. I also believe that my family as well as many people don’t really understand what practicing positive mental health looks like. Positive mental health can be as simple as reciting positive affirmations everyday, learning to say no when you don’t agree, drawing boundaries with family, friends and associates. Taking up that favorite hobby that makes you feel good, practicing positive self esteem, working out, practicing healthier eating habits, talking about your feelings and also checking yourself when you do negative things as a human or things that may hurt others. I believe my family has to discover these truths on their own.”

Introducing New Forms of Narrative: Berlin Based Artist Seo Hye Lee on Navigating Hearing Loss and Taking Inspiration from Her Unique Sonic Identity

“Living on my own in a new country (Germany) has taught me many things about myself and that I cannot do this completely on my own. I found it hard to ask for help and to open up about myself at the risk of being in a disadvantaged position. The uniqueness of who I am has helped to shape my art practice and what I want to share with the audience. I’ve been given great opportunities in various places to discuss how my Cochlear Implant has shaped my sonic identity and I’ve learned to embrace my individuality through my art practice. My deaf identity has allowed me creative freedom with sound art and the ability to reinterpret sound in my own way.”

Iulian Circo on Social Impact, the Changemaker Generation, and Verifying Wellness Initiatives

” I actually feel that most companies that stay close to consumers are actively working to bring purpose into their brands. This may be a differentiator now, but with the changemaker generation coming of age, they realize that without purpose they will simply slide into irrelevance. In this context, however, it is pretty hard to differentiate between real change and impact narratives. Without taking anything away from Patagonia – which remains an awesome, awesome company – it is relatively easy to bring impact at the fore-front of products that are premium, and that address educated, high-income market segments. It is a completely different story to do that in cut-throat, price-sensitive categories such as mass retail or FMCG. This is why I am personally very excited to see impact reflected at the level of mass-focused, low margin businesses. Often done quietly. I love it when I go into big retailers and notice that even the private labels signal purpose and virtue (locally sourced, organic, fair trade etc.). This is both a sign and an enabler of the mass-going revolution we all need. Patagonia and the likes have showed the way, now we need the Walmarts and the Costcos to follow.”

Samantha Huggins on Her Wellness Regimen, Openness Versus Vulnerability, and Mental Health in Schools

“I do believe that today’s educational institutions are built to support conversations amongst youths about mental health and inclusivity. There are far more resources for students than when I was in school at the time. In one of my classes I recall spending the first half of the sessions discussing mental health and university outlets for the students if they needed any. I think credit should be given to this generation for that change. They have been at the forefront of mental health and more accepting of the concept than their older cohorts. As for the faculty, there are mandatory training courses for Diversity and Inclusivity for Professors and Directors. We have to take these courses and be “certified” every year before the school semester begins. This is all geared to be of better service to the student body. With that being said, I don’t think there is enough mental health support for the faculty. That is something that can be improved.”

Chanel Tyler on Her Mental Health & Wellness Regimen, Diversity, Tokenizing the Black Community, and Communal Empowerment

What are some sources or tools that you believe have impacted your wellbeing?
“I do believe that today’s educational institutions are built to support conversations amongst youths about mental health and inclusivity. There are far more resources for students than when I was in school at the time. In one of my classes I recall spending the first half of the sessions discussing mental health and university outlets for the students if they needed any. I think credit should be given to this generation for that change. They have been at the forefront of mental health and more accepting of the concept than their older cohorts. As for the faculty, there are mandatory training courses for Diversity and Inclusivity for Professors and Directors. We have to take these courses and be “certified” every year before the school semester begins. This is all geared to be of better service to the student body. With that being said, I don’t think there is enough mental health support for the faculty. That is something that can be improved.”

Victoria Wong on Self-Awareness, Work – Life Balance in the Fashion Industry, & Her Mental Health Journey with Food

“I have a weird relationship with food, and it’s an issue that I’m working on improving. It’s something I’ve struggled with since high school and I can admit, I have good days and bad days. Even now. I didn’t really talk about it with anyone at first; it was a little shameful you know? I mean, I still don’t really, but working on it and it’s helped. At the time, because I wasn’t eating, I was getting into a lot of fights with my family, becoming anti-social and overall, just unhappy with everything. I didn’t go out at all, didn’t see friends, and if I did, I would really beat myself up the next day about it. Opening up about my issue the first time really helped… I think talking about it made it real, and forced me to acknowledge and reflect on what was I doing to myself.”

Sadé Jones, Advertiser and Wellness Blogger On Navigating Adulthood, Investing Time To Get To Know Oneself, & Wellness

“Discussing mental health is something I feel comfortable talking about to a certain extent. I still feel the judgment when I openly talk about mental health with others and that part makes me feel uncomfortable. However, I know how imperative wellness is, so I push through and embrace difficult conversations. I enjoy making my writing vulnerable. On my blog thefireinsidesade.com, I share some pretty personal anecdotes and it’s like a safe haven for me.”