Mental health is an often hushed, 'just sweep it under the rug' topic in New Zealand. Landing as a space for individuals to voice their experiences is MENTAL, a new online journal sharing first-hand accounts of mental health issues. The website was not only launched for individuals to share, but to educate others and shift perceptions towards mental health issues through digital storytelling.
The initiative was started by Aucklander Liv Young who found that there was nowhere to share her experiences or to read about others', and those who do share their personal journey are often stereotyped and discriminated against. "MENTAL will encourage storytelling amongst New Zealanders, which may become a meaningful and important part an individual's recovery journey," she says.
Since launching on Saturday the website has already received over 100 submissions. Every week, new stories will be revealed on the site. By publishing contributions from all ages, genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, Young hopes that it will encourage positive dialogue with the general public, and perhaps leave readers with a better understanding of what it means to experience mental illness.