Last week I shared the first part of the interview with Laura Darrall – the creator of the It Affect’s Me campaign. This week see’s part 2 of the interview – where I asked Laura a little more about the aim of her mental health campaign, why it’s important and about her rather big surprise! Here’s what Laura had to say:
What is your aim with It Affects Me?
My aim is to get people talking, to start conversations about mental health and to eradicate fear and stigma surrounding it. I want our children to grow up in a world where they are unafraid to ask to speak out and ask for help, which is why I have created the petition to get mental health education taught in schools. To make education a priority and to end stigma with knowledge.
How and why is this campaign important?
This campaign is important because people are nervous to talk about mental health and we need to change that. We tiptoe around the subject because we don’t know what to say or how to react but the best thing you can do is SAY THAT, say I don’t know, be ignorant and let someone tell you how they feel instead of guessing.
Say ‘how are you?’ and actually mean it.
Mental illness is so so so so common, all of us will experience it at some point in our lives whether for ourselves or through a loved one. Ruby Wax, Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson have all suffered and spoken out about it, they are the tip of the iceberg.
What we need to do is get educated and we need to talk because that is where true happiness and hope comes from: talking, communication and connection.
Don’t hide and don’t let someone else hide.
Life is too short, too precious not to talk, not to tell the truth. So please, do it.
How will you know when the campaign has been successful for you or is it already successful?
I feel completely overwhelmed with how the campaign has done, we have reached over 3.5 million people all over the world and have been as far reaching as Australia, Pakistan, Canada and the Netherlands.
For me the campaign’s success rests on the individual, if one person speaks out and asks for help then it is all worth it.
And finally you have a little announcement don’t you?
I feel so proud and excited that tickets are now available for the #ItAffectsMe: I AM NORMAL Festival: Produced by HARTS Theatre Company and NCS The Challenge, we have created a youth designed well-being festival with speakers from Time to Change, Change.org, The Mindful Leadership Foundation and Jonny Benjamin.
You can find out more about the event here.