By some estimates, one in four Americans suffers from a diagnosable mental illness. Yet conversations on mental illness are uncommon. That was until last year, when a schizophrenic man disembarked from a Greyhound bus in Sacramento, California.
How does one go about an interdisciplinary project spanning art and science? How might this look? we set out to explore how mental health advocacy, video game design, and documentary filmmaking could come together to enhance understanding and fight stigma about mental illness.
Fortunately, I have experienced the miracle of recovery. I know that I can only keep what I have by giving it away. I now live a full, rich life that continues to fulfill and surpass my biggest hopes and dreams for myself.
From 2007 to 2011 Andrea MacDonald served as an activist against climate change. She eventually left her role as a community organizer against the Enbridge Gateway pipeline in British Columbia and started yoga teacher training.
'What motivated me at first was how good I felt doing yoga; I wanted to share my discovery with the world! What motivates me now is how valuable this tool is to the world at this time. My passion for yoga has grown deeper and deeper, as I experience its gifts within my personal life.'
Maybe a culture that values over-achievement and pushing oneself to the limits is responsible for the high levels of stress, mental illness, and even suicide evident within highly competitive college communities.
It's a catch 22, really. There is a public outcry against "overdiagnosis" of ADHD, but the rigor required for thorough diagnosis is extensive, expensive and not well supported by our public health system. So what are we to do?
The more I learn about chronic stress and trauma the more I see their tentacles everywhere, affecting school performance and dropout rates, crime, violence and public health. I see bringing yoga to youth as a revolutionary act.