Manchester student launches #IDO mental health photography campaign

He said: ‘During lockdown, it’s like loads of people have forgotten about mental health’

MMU student Allen White has recently started a photography Instagram campaign called #IDO, which is a mental health photography project on how “mental health isn’t always black and white.”

Speaking to The Manchester Tab, Allen said: “Mental health isn’t always easy to spot and it comes in many forms. But also during the lockdown, it’s like loads of people have forgotten about mental health, so I wanted to create something that includes everyone; people with disabilities, people of different races, age. I wanted to include as many different people, no matter what”.

Photo via Instagram: @photography_mentalhealth

He hopes that his final piece will be made up of 1,000 people showing a range of emotions. He even said: “I’ve had people asking for pets to get involved too, as mental health doesn’t just come down to humans”.

Allen created the hashtag #IDO, “because then people can share the hashtag themselves showing that they understand how mental health affects everyone.”

Photo via Instagram: @photography_mentalhealth

On the current situation regarding coronavirus, Allen commented: “When you think of mental health you imagine depression and anxiety but right now we live in a world that is literally built on mental health.

“The government doesn’t care, the university tries to support students yet there are people out there really struggling because of the stress of life and the stress studying during the pandemic has had on them”.

Allen feels that there is a severe lack of support out there, only confirmed by how “many people have messaged me since starting the campaign saying: ‘I’d love to get involved because I’ve recently been going through my own mental health problems'”.

Allen hopes that his project will “help people break down barriers to talk” and hopes that people “can relate to someone on the collage.”

The project itself however “is very simple, but for some reason everyone is finding it hard to find four facial expressions to pull”, says Allen.

Allen’s aim is to complete the 1,000 piece collage by Mental Health Awareness Day in 2021, and to create “something massive that people can look at, and are able to relate to.

“I want people to look at a wall made up of happy, sad, scared and all manner of emotions on faces and be able to relate and go ‘I feel like that too sometimes'”.

Allen said: “Mental health isn’t just being alone, being anxious, being sad, it comes in so many form and no one can really explain it, anybody can suffer with it even if they seem like the happiest people in the world.

“It’s the one thing in the world that everyone can relate to, as at one point in your life you, or someone you know, will have had some kind of mental health problem”.

If you would like to get involved in Allen’s project then please contact him via the #IDO Instagram account.

Featured image and design credited to: Allen White @photography_mentalhealth

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