When I awoke from slobbery slumber this morning the last thing I expected to uncover was Kim Kardashian fronting a documentary promoting the de-stigmatisation of mental illness. Was I still in dreamy land? Was the ‘ass that launched a thousand ships’ really here, in the trenches with us working to educate the general populace about mental health? Yes indeed. Not only fronting the Red Flag doco but executive producing. Touché Kim, I doff my imaginary cap to you.
Add to such wonderment the discovery of Project UROK. This initiative hit me at a deeper, more profound level. So closely aligned with my own beliefs, it shot directly to the best and smooshiest parts of my heart. Jenny Jaffe and Mara Wilson have crafted a beautiful non-profit organisation using humour, honesty and humility to approach personal tales of mental ill-health to support young (and old) people. The website features videos of real live human beings exposing their mental health journeys in hopes of opening a dialogue about mental illness from the very source of our collective experience.
I think we all know I am staunchly in favour of using humor to diffuse shitty difficult things. As Caitlin Moran said in How to be a woman, one can manage the challenging parts of life “not by shouting at it, internalising it, or squabbling about it – but by simply pointing at it and going “HA!” instead.” Now, she was talking about sexism and patriarchal bullshit but I always felt akin to this sentiment when coping with my anxiety. If I laugh in it’s ugly face, I can take away some of it’s power over me and this is what Jaffe is offering.
So today my mind has officially been blown and after the blood and guts have settled on the road around me, the space left fills up with happiness, warm fuzzies, pride and determination to support and publicise these amazing new initiatives.
I am filled with full-on in your face joy at the idea of reaching out to the depths of unknown people’s hearts to caress the hurty, anxious bits and tell them they are not alone. I am glad to be one of many working to educate the public on our struggles.
I am so proud of us today.