Panic, anxiety, depression and trauma are some of the factors affecting mental health. People hardly talk of mental illness because of the stigma associated with it.
It is one of the reasons Bassey Ikpi, a Nigerian-born American spoken-word poet, writer, and mental health advocate created the hashtag which has now gained global prominence.
She has appeared on HBO's Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry five times and her poetry has opened shows for Grammy Award-winning artists. She has been a featured cast member of the National Touring Company of the Tony Award-winning Broadway show, "Russell Simmon's Def Poetry Jam." Her organisation, "The Siwe Project", is "a non-profit organization geared towards educating and increasing awareness of mental health issues, particularly amongst those of African descent worldwide.
Bassey Ikpi was diagnosed several years ago with Bipolar Disorder II. With the support of close friends, colleagues and mental health professionals, she was able to take control of her mental health and redirect her energies towards new projects and opportunities.
In July 2012. Bassey’s life was deeply impacted by a tragic loss. Siwe Monsanto, the daughter of a close friend, committed suicide at the age of 15. Bassey’s emotions transformed themselves into action and The Siwe Project was born.
Join the conversation for black creatives on #NoShameDay #blkcreatives