Take 'selfies' to beat mental health stigma, urges Croydon charity
A dad has spoken of how he set up a mental health charity after his own struggle to face the fact his two brothers had schizophrenia.
Adjei Amaning, 52, from Croydon, set up the Stigma charity last year after hiding the fact that two of his brothers suffered from schizophrenia for much of his life.
Setting up the charity cost Mr Amaning his marriage and his house, he now lives on a friend’s floor and is facing bankruptcy.
But he said it was worth it. He said: "I am very, very passionate about it, and I just didn’t want to give up.
"My brothers think it is fantastic. It took me so many years to admit I have two brothers who are mentally ill but I am so proud of them and how they are getting on with their life."
In its latest campaign the mental health charity is calling for people to turn their own cameras on themselves for its new campaign against the stigma of mental illness.
Stigma wants to compile a giant collage of 'selfies' - self-shot snaps of yourself - to highlight how widespread mental issues are.
The artwork, which will be displayed in London galleries and across the country, is intended to draw attention to the fact that one in four people suffer from a mental illness at some point in their life.
The former music industry professional said: "The campaign is going really well. We’ve had a few hundred faces so far and we’ve only advertised on social media."
He said they are hoping for tens of thousands of photos in total.
The charity are also planning a concert at the O2 Arena in October 2014 and are currently speaking to international artists looking to get involved.
They aim to increase awareness of mental illness and hope the Government will give more funding to the cause.
Mr Amaning believes that talking about mental illness can start to break down barriers.
The dad-of-two said: "We’ve had such a great response to the charity so far, we’re reaching a young demographic because of the music element to what we do which I think is great."
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