Mental Health Web Series

Project Sonrisa's Mental Health Web Series

In our web series a variety of different people openly talk about their personal experiences and journey with their mental health. They talk about their highs and lows, what managed to get them through difficult times and how they maintain a positive mindset and good mental well being.

Episode 1: Tayla-Jayne Eldred

Tayla-Jayne talks about their experiences and journey with mental health in particular anxiety and depression. They talk about their experiences of these mental health conditions and the challenges they have faced in the past. Tayla-Jayne highlights that it is important to treat yourself right and emphasises that no one is alone.

Episode 2: David Reynolds

"I wanted to be a representative for men who struggle to open up about their feelings and dark spots. We're all human. It's okay talk about stuff. I got involved in the web series to gain a better understanding of myself. I never spoke quite as openly before this series. I feel a weight has been lifted. Not completely but, definitely lifted. It's important to talk about mental health because without communication, we eat ourselves up. We need each other. Talk."

Episode 3: Mark Pearson

Mark opens up in his episode about the experiences he has had with peer pressures and struggles with his own mental health. He talks about why it is important to open up to people and talk when you maybe can't quite handle something yourself anymore.

Episode 4: Julie Broadbent

Julie loves the arts and enjoys singing, dancing and acting. She talks about how the creative arts is a great way to express yourself and is a great tool to maintain good mental health and well-being. 

Episode 5: Christophe Monplaisir 

I chose to get involved in this project because I have latent trauma, mostly related to my relationship to food, and I have also realized over the years that I don't want to conform to certain stereotypes and "rules" of masculinity, such as not expressing your feelings, hiding your vulnerability, and making fun of other people's suffering simply because they're deemed to be "not real/physical", or just different from your own experience. I also want to get out of my comfort zone: to open up about the problems that I can't handle on my own regarding my relationship to food, and my relationship to my ethnicity. 

Read more about Christophe below...

I am a White male: it took me 10 years of going back and forth between France and the Navajo reservation to make my peace with that. And it's still an ongoing process. But I want to become more conscious of the ways in which my ethnicity and my gender influence my experience of the world because I don't want to let them stand between me and the people I've met whose lives and opinions matter to me.

And I believe it's important to open up about these "mental" disorders. I believe that sharing our doubts, vulnerabilities and pains is an important step towards healing our minds, and our hearts. I don't care how strange or unlikely some of these conditions, or fears, or anxieties or disorders might look: for instance, most people can't believe I have an issue with food - and my weight - when they see me because I'm very thin and "healthy-looking", but I can start crying and feel ashamed of myself just by thinking about certain types of food. And I'm tired of that: I want to find peace of mind, and I wish the same to everyone. I don't like seeing people suffer, and I believe in the power of words to heal: I don't like mundane talk too much either because I also believe in the power of silence to help us process things and learn on our own. But I need a better balance between the two I think.  

Besides, I've learned the hard way that if you don't ask for help, you usually don't get any. And I'd love to get help and see and hear more people open up about this subject so we can fashion some kind of space where people would be able to share their stories and support each other through the pain that mental disorders bring.

Talking about it was a strange experience for me: I felt like a fraud, thinking my problems were not real compared to others, but in the end I know it's also part of the problem. In my case, if you're not anorexic or obese it's generally assumed that you don't have a problem with food. Yet I do, and I've tried to solve it on my own but I don't think I can. So in a way this video was my first attempt to admit that yes, I need help to figure some painful things out.