MYND Initiative Inc. was created with a focus on the individuality and humanity that forms our mental health. Our diverse group of members specialise in psychology, healthcare and general mental health, and recognises that the different life experiences, environments and stories we live through not only impact our own mental health but influence how we look at the concept of mental health issues in general. Mental health is an important but often misunderstood topic, and whilst there is increasing awareness, MYND aims to expand the education of communities and individuals in relation to mental health and mental illness.
By exploring mental health issues with each member of each community, it is hoped that there will be a paradigm shift in the collective approach towards understanding mental health. We are therefore looking to work with partners and communities to extend our reach so that one day, our collective work will ensure that mental health is viewed with the same importance as physical health.
OUR VISION AND MISSION STATEMENTS
Our vision is that people struggling with mental health issues no longer face discrimination, isolation or stigma when they tell their story.
MYND Initiative Inc.’s mission is to spread the message that mental health matters to everyone, challenge the stigma and myths associated with mental health issues and develop communities of understanding.
Whether it be through speaker events, community events, music, art, storytelling, or social media, MYND’s mission is to educate communities and to empower the individual to share their mental health story. With education and encouragement, it is hoped that communities of understanding will develop with the ability to support and guide individuals, families and other communities through an often difficult journey, as well as encouraging and promoting awareness and understanding of mental health.
Every person dealing with mental health issues has a story to tell and the individual factors that make up their story can become an inspiration for others to take steps toward their own healing. Through conversation, support, education and the development of communities of understanding, the stigma associated with having mental health issues can be eradicated.
CREATING COMMUNITIES OF UNDERSTANDING
- A community of understanding where individuals with mental health issues will feel safe to disclose their mental health issues, as well as psychological and social stressors, without fear of being stigmatised, discriminated against or isolated as a result.
- A community of understanding where individuals with mental health issues will not have to fear the repercussions of their own mental health issues.
- A community of understanding who understands that mental health issues do not define a person, but can increase vulnerability, be debilitating and impede help-seeking behaviours.
- A community of understanding who is able to obtain the correct information from appropriate channels about mental health issues, therefore developing a correct understanding of said mental health issues.
- A community of understanding who welcomes and continues ongoing discussions about mental health issues, thereby increasing openness amongst individuals, families and communities to discussing mental health issues.
- A community of understanding who seeks to be helpful towards individuals with mental health issues.
- A community of understanding who seeks to first understand the situation, prior to making judgment, and seeks help through the appropriate channels, such as through the emergency hotlines and/or getting the individual to a hospital, if necessary.
- A community of understanding who practises, encourages and promotes positive mental health hygiene among themselves and in others.
- A community of understanding who, together with other relevant organisations and individuals, advocates for and raises awareness about mental health issues, among all groups, including disadvantaged groups, as well as groups of diverse cultures and in various languages.
- A community of understanding who guides others to understand the above, and provides education, guidance, reassurance and support where necessary.
- A community of understanding who operates, for better or for worse, for all intents and purposes, as a family.
MYND Initiative Inc. initially began with two individuals who saw various cultural and social barriers evident in their own communities that prevented a genuine understanding of mental health issues. These two grew up in cultural environments where discussing mental health issues was frowned upon when sufferers of ‘anxiety’ or ‘depression’ were told to hide their illnesses because no one would understand. This meant that people who struggled with mental health issues were unable to gain the support they needed. They noticed that various cultural barriers, values and beliefs developed over generations (resulting in a non-inclusive culture within specific families and communities) which consequently led to the exacerbation of serious mental health conditions and a lack of understanding and compassion.