Colour Me In-
Valerie Villalobos

One in four people have mental health issues. It is incredibly likely that in your lifetime you will experience or know someone suffering from any given mental health condition. These issues have a long history of being misrepresented and heavily stigmatized. This reaction has often led to the silencing of those who suffer. In turn it has been a struggle to treat mental health issues as serious public health concerns which demand appropriate care and action. Without this support people suffering experience a lower quality of life with a higher statistical risk of death by suicide.

In fact, 95% of people who commit suicide have a mental illness, with suicide being the tenth leading cause of death amongst Americans. Those most vulnerable to the stigma often do not have the tools to recognize the validity of their symptoms and therefore seek treatment. No one person experiences mental illness the same way. By opening the conversation up to these varied experiences we create a culture that is inclusive, validating, and gives space for acceptance and recovery. So that all people have an opportunity to seek help and live a full life.

The main initiative of the campaign Colour Me In is to improve mental health literacy for everyone. We want to bring color back into these narratives by sharing the experiences faced by real people. Mental illness is not specific to any gender, race, culture, or sexuality. But all of these factors do affect the way we experience our mental illness. It is important that people have a resource to view these experiences and find those that we identify with. In doing so we hope to shift the attitudes of the public toward depression and related conditions.

Exhibition Booklet

AR Exhibit (Click icon on iOS device)