In today’s society, it is often considered somewhat taboo to talk about mental health or exude vulnerability in any way. The Western mindset is very much that of “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps,” “Never stop working,” etc. No one is really supposed to ask for help and mental health is not taken as seriously as something like physical health is. Although there are resources such as therapy or medication, it is often hard to access these resources due to understaffing or lack of money.
The solution I have chosen for this problem is to create a friendly, self-empowering zine that outlines positive affirmations and increases public awareness of mental health. These can be passed out in the community or placed in an institution like a school or a hospital so that those who cannot access resources for mental health can still receive a small dose of positivity, hope, and advice. It’s like a pocket therapist.
This zine was chosen to be in a summer-long exhibition at University of Florida’s Counseling and Wellness Center. I crafted over 100 zines to be distributed to viewers at the exhibition. Since then, several people have told me that my zine truly has helped them feel more positive and less lonely. I like to think of the zine as an accessible and wholesome “pocket therapist”.