powerful photo journal series smashes the stigma around mental illness in communities of color

August 10, 2017
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Dana Fletcher is a writer and mental health advocate from Jamaica who discovered she had Bipolar Disorder II after a hospitalization in 2016. It was then that she was brought face to face with the reality that mental illness is a far too silent reality that does not spare marginalized communities, and realized the need to spread the message for people across identities to embrace the unknown possibilities of their mental health. This mission became the foundation for the project Embrace Your Unknown, which uses transparent storytelling and captivating visuals to smash the stigma around mental health discussions.

“Embrace your unknown means taking all the one-dimensional preconceptions of mental health that have been ingrained in us for years and setting them on fire,” reads the project’s website. “It means recognising the courage it takes to admit your need for professional help and celebrating that strength.”

The latest addition to the project is a photo series that brings the intricate realities of mental illness in communities of color to light using visual metaphors and striking imagery. Partnering with a range of photographers, “(the photos) address the major themes of this mental illness: raw vulnerability, warped self-perception, grandiosity, despondency, loss of control & unbridled happiness,” explains Fletcher.

Check out the powerful photos from the campaign below!

Photographer: @grahamt_white

Photographer: @softpoem

Photographer: @kaylammendez

Photographer: @imanigivertz