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Mapping the participants (human and
non-human) and constructing an image archive

Louis Johanson

Below is the result of a group exercise that identifies the stakeholders involved in the field of mental health. The map explores the wide array of connections, relationships and interactions between both professionals and organisations. The map was divided in two categories, human and non human participants. Non human included tech, social media, law and government policies. Were human included government, schools, teachers and parents and peers. 

initial_map

During week 5 our group began connecting various stakeholders and participants to words about mental health. This helped outline the different relationships through word association. Two territories were coined ” Hard ” and ” Soft “.

01. In This Skin – Natalie McComas

INTHISSKIN

In this skin was a photography exhibition by Natalie McComas. The documentary project was funded by the VSCO Artist Initiative in 2015. The exhibition portrays subjects with prominent birthmarks and explores the effects this has had on their lives and psyche. The series celebrates the birthmarks as unique skin formations. With the aim to both normalise birthmarks to the wider audience and inspire those with the condition to feel comfortable in their own skin. Since it’s initial launch over the next couple of years more than 150 people in over 26 countries got in contact with Natasha to have their birthmark photographed.

02. – Edward Honaker

Edward Honaker, 21, from California used his camera to document his personal experience with mental illness through a series of b/w self portraits Honaker who was diagnosed with depression and anxiety used photography as an outlet. Honaker uses collage, long exposure, props and distortion effects to highlight the helplessness felt by someone battling with mental illness.The photos include Honker submerged in a bathtub, waist deep in a lake, warped reflections and more.

His photographs also cover the stigma that surround mental illness. The haunting use of black and white photography further emphasis the stigma surrounding mental health. This being that the mental illness is a multi faceted issue. Honker hopes the series will help encourage those to help others suffering from the debilitating illness.

OLDMATE

03. Consumed – Paul Falcone

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Consumed – Paul Falcone

Paul Falcone answers the question through his photo series ‘What If We Could See Mental Illness?’. The result is a physical manifestation of the illness. The aim was to give insight through visuals into the psyche of someone living with a mental illness. Falcone wanted to take something that is not visible and give it a tangible quality.  Falcone states that the project is still very much a work in progress. Falcone acknowledges that this is just one glimpse or perspective into his mental illness and everyone’s illness may not look the same. He hopes to start a conversation and allow others to open up about their own mental illness.

04. ‘It’s OK to talk’

Luke Ambler coined the tag #itsokaytotalk that started a campaign of thousands of selfies posted across the internet. The aim was to raise awareness around mental health and suicide concerning. Luke’s aim is part of an effort to encourage men to feel supported in talking about their emotions. The image shows Luke giving the unverisally known ” Ok ” symbol usually followed with a caption.

luke

05 Get to Know Anxiety – Beyond Blue

get_to_know_anxiety

Beyond Blue launched the “ Get to Know Anxiety ” campaign in May 2015 with the aim make mental health a non trivial matter. Anxiety is personief by a central narrater who talks the audience through the symptons of anxiety such as obsessive behavior, relentless worrying or panic attacks. I found these are issues too often ignored by the general population and seen as just part of who they are. With 12% of Australians viewing the illness as a major health issue, the campaign aims to allow those suffering to recognise the symptoms and seek help. 

06. Head–Space – Campaign

headspace

The Head-space Fathers campaign aims to open up the conversation between fathers and sons and raise awareness about the support services available. Fathers can play a vital role in identifying the early signs of mental illness and helping their sons get the support they need, but many men are unsure how to start the conversation or what services are available.

07. Hello Darkenss – Sylvie Reuter

comic

The following cartoon by Sylvie Reuter serves as a depiction of the crippling effects of depression. The mental illness is personifed as a ominous black figure that appears through the subjects day until slowly growing until it completely engulfs the girl. I found the cartoon provides an accurate insight into the invisible, ever present nature of mental illness. 

08. Michael Leunig 

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Michael Leunig is an Australian cartoonist, cultural commentary and poet. Leunig is famous for encapsulating the human condition in self-reflective authenticity. The following illustration depicts the over saturation of self help books available on the market, that all too often don’t help remedy mental illness. 

09. Invisible Injury: Beyond PTSD

Invisible Injury_Beyond PTSD

Jeff Severns Guntzel and Andy Warner from The Public Insight Network, collaborated on this comic. The comic is based on a transcript between a psychiatrist who treats PTSD in veterans . The comic addresses both the symptoms of PTSD, but also the sense of “moral injury” that people can feel when they are asked to betray their sense of right and wrong.

10. NHS Mental Health Campaign

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The following poster by the NHS shows the impact and power words have on others. All too often the stigma surrounding mental health is promoted and fueled by these labels. The poster demonstrate the silencing effect these words have on those suffering from mental illness.

References.

natmccomas. 2014. natmccomas. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.natmccomas.com/in-this-skinhttp://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-03/beauty-of-birthmarks-showcased-in-sydney-photography-exhibition/7379020http://vsco.co/artistinitiative/journal/p/1. [Accessed 1 September 2016].

news. 2015. news. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/why-guys-are-getting-personal-online–the-social-media-campaign-driven-by-the-boys/news-story/b18cb728398904d8ec3710c567acf5ac. [Accessed 31 August 2016].

dailymail. 2015. Photographer-suffering-depression-captures-mental-illness-haunting-series-self-portraits-raise-awareness-disorder. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3240571/Photographer-suffering-depression-captures-mental-illness-haunting-series-self-portraits-raise-awareness-disorder.html. [Accessed 1 September 2016].

wemustbebroken. 2014. its-not-all-in-your-head-consumed-mental-illness-through-photography-january-update. [ONLINE] Available at: https://wemustbebroken.com/2016/01/31/its-not-all-in-your-head-consumed-mental-illness-through-photography-january-update/. [Accessed 1 September 2016].

beyond blue. 2016. connect-with-others. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.beyondblue.org.au/connect-with-others. [Accessed 30 August 2016].

google. 2010. google images. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.google.com.au/search?q=images+associated+with+mental+health&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjEjbup4eXOAhVGoZQKHUHQC0AQ_AUICCgB&biw=1440&bih=684#tbm=isch&q=mental+health+leunig&imgrc=uudNc-5YXnVGuM%3A. [Accessed 1 September 2016].

 

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