Looking at art as one of the languages in which to talk about mental illness

Ever wondered how art can help in shining the spotlight on mental health and how it can help manage mental health challenges that people have.

RELATED: 'Fact that most comedians suffer from mental illness needs to be demystified'

Eusebius McKaiser, artist Bale Legoabe, multidisciplinary artist Brooklyn Phakathi and health anthropologist Dr Beth Vale reflect on ways people can use art to manage mental health challenges.

We are wrestling in trying to find a language in which to talk about mental health. There has been a victory in a sense that now there is a medical language around mental health that has given it increased legitimacy.

Dr Beth Vale, Health anthropologist

One of the things that people are struggling with is finding a language in which they feel they can own their mental health, she explains.

We have weird social messaging that makes us almost feel that we shouldn't disclose or speak about mental health difficulties we may be undergoing.

Eusebius McKaiser, Presenter

Legoabe says art is used by some people as a way to explain their mental illness.

Art serves a purpose for the artist themselves because as an artist you might not know how to express yourself with words. You then put that on paper or you create digital artwork. It is interesting to notice how people can pick up on those emotions and feelings that the artist is trying to express.

Bale Legoabe, Artist

She says art helps those suffering from mental illness to feel understood.

Phakathi says he is researching how people's behaviour online affects their emotional wellbeing.

I know personally that there are symbols of technology that when I engage with are triggers for me that I cannot digest whether they are positive or negative. On the other hand, technology has an impact to show the world what it really looks like.

Brooklyn Phakathi, Multidisciplinary artist

Listen below to the full conversation:


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