Undoing the stigmas around mental health 140 characters at a time

Rofhiwa Maneta

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Last year, 23-year-old Thabile Mpe was diagnosed with type two bipolar disorder. Two things immediately became clear to her. The first was the lack of public information about not just bipolar disorder, but the entire spectrum of mental illnesses. The second was that the language used to communicate mental illnesses was either peppered with stigma […]

Its a circle of learning,she says. Lets say I, myself, would like to learn more about schizophrenia, Id let the people on account know. Theyd usually share either their own experiences or the experiences of people close to them. That way were all learning together.

A love has bravely shared her story in order to bring this to light: the trauma associated with miscarriages ❤ pic.twitter.com/2TpCJoxdGP — Mental Wealth™ ZA (@MentalWealthZA) July 3, 2017

The most important thing, Thabile says, is consent and anonymity. She never shares anyone’s story without their express permission and she offers anonymity to those who prefer it.

On 22 June, Thabile tweeted:

Some of the topics can be particularly triggering for Thabile.

Thabile says stories about sexual assault and the resultant depression and post-traumatic stress that come with it disturb her the most.

Those stories always get to me the most. Sometimes its to the point where I just go home and cry about it,she says.

As for the future, Thabile is currently working on a website as well as assembling a team wholl help turn Mental Wealth into a fully functioning NGO. For updates, follow @MentalWealthZA on Twitter.

Project Demo finds the voices of young people in South Africa, amplifies their stories and turns their cause for change into a reality. Tell them your issue. They’ll take it on and campaign with you.

Image: Supplied (Thabile Mpe)