Meet Elyse: The AWEsome Activist
IN AWE OF ELYSE
Elyse is a #MentalHealthWarrior. She's the founder of the Sad Girls Club, a nationwide movement of young women seeking community and shared experience in the face of mental illness. She has become an icon in the mental health community on social media and has been featured around the web on sites like Bustle, Elite Daily, Teen Vogue, and Refinery29. We are so inspired by her drive to empower the next generation of #MentalHealthWarriors and encourage everyone to visit sadgirlsclub.org to support her incredible mission.
IN HER WORDS
"You can accomplish your goals while living with a mental illness"
"A major step to coping with mental illness is igniting the conversation."
Filmmaker || Mental Health Activist || @ProducedByGirls LLC || @SadGirlsClubpbg
SAD GIRLS CLUB
I started Sad Girls Club in February of this year ... after I released a film specifically about my mental illnesses. I received a wave of women and young girls who wanted a mentor within the community. The best advice you can get would be community-based so I wanted to create something for girls to connect in real life and in person to get rid of the stigma around mental illness. I'm a first-generation Caribbean woman. The topic of mental illness was never discussed in my home. I never had the outlook or knew how to speak about it. I put out a film in December removing my mask and saying, 'Hey, I'm not as happy as I seem, I'm depressed and here's my story.' That’s when I received a wave of girls saying, 'I feel the same way.' From there I made it my mission to create something. From my experience, I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I wasn’t introduced to any kind of therapy, I didn't know these types of illnesses even existed. I feel like a lot of girls in my community can relate to that. They don’t even know how to speak the words. I want to be a face and voice for them.
HOW TO HELP SOMEONE WITH DEPRESSION
Do you want to help a friend who's going through IT? Here are some ways you can help. We can encourage you ladies to make friends and follow each other. Having a friend to help you through your depression can be a great way to cope!
- Help him or her get an appropriate depression diagnosis and treatment.
- Encourage the person to stay with treatment or to seek different treatment if no improvement occurs.
- Use understanding, patience, affection, and encouragement to offer emotional support. - Encourage participation in some activities that once gave pleasure, but do not push the depressed person to undertake too much too soon.
- Encourage the person to join a depression support group where they can share in a non-judgemental environment.
- Remember that depression is not something a person can 'snap out of' nor can he or she 'choose to be happy instead.'
CONNECT WITH ELYSE