MA student is redefining mental health with beautiful images

Her project coincides with World Mental Health Day


MA student Bethany Slinn has launched a community based arts project in Liverpool to coincide with World Mental Health Day 2015.

Her project aims to challenge the stigma associated with mental illness by encouraging people to actively redefine their mental health through art.

Bethany, who is studying for a Masters in Art, Aesthetics and Cultural Institutions, told The Tab: “To dignify my depression, I’ve tried to encapsulate it as an image.

“My mental health can make me feel ugly. But with these words, I’ve turned this feeling into something beautiful.”

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She added: “This is the beginning of a community based project in Liverpool, to compile similar images into a video piece, as a means of dignifying and even admiring the mental health issues which alter the lives of one in four of us, with the aim of challenging the stigma of mental health.”

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The project is intended to encourage open and honest discourse on mental health.

By allowing  people with mental illness to characterise and capture their mental health for themselves, Bethany hopes to create a more accurate and empowering narrative about these issues.

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Alex Ferguson, the Guild’s vice president, supports Bethany’s project, telling The Tab: “It’s great to see we are in a time now where students and student’s unions understand the importance of raising awareness of mental health.

“I agree with Beth: people should define mental health in their own terms, and not be stigmatised for the rest of their lives with labels.

“It’s no coincidence, that now we see students talking about mental health, especially with the increased financial pressure caused by giant debt after uni.”

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The resultant film will be a collection of a variety of different experiences, and will be screened in Liverpool in January.

If you are interested in taking part, by either submitting your thoughts or artwork, contact Bethany on [email protected].

The submissions for this project can be either open or anonymous.