London Students Create “I AM ME” Mental Health Awareness Campaign

Exciting news! Art With Impact has found its British twin!

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Just wait ’til you guys hear the plan we hatched this past summer at camp.

Okay, so The Mile End Community Project (MCP) of East London might not be our identical twin, but it turns out this 22-year-old organization shares many values in common with AWI, namely teaching students how to use the power of art and film to foster community engagement on important issues. Last Thursday, MCP’s work with the Swanlea School  was featured in the launch of I AM ME, a mental health awareness campaign created over the course of a a 10-week workshop. Students learned the basics of acting, storyboarding, and how to operate cameras and film equipment, while participating in discussions about stereotyping and social media issues. The result of their 10-week collaboration was a photo campaign aimed to inspire the breakdown of stereotypes and encourage self-acceptance, along with a film to raise awareness of mental health.

The I AM ME campaign is especially needed in the Swanlea School’s neighborhood of East London, home to one of the country’s highest instances of mental illness per capita. Students are hoping that I AM ME allows students to feel more comfortable talking about their mental health challenges, and more likely to reach out for help when it’s needed.

This work is right in line with the MCP’s mission to create “grassroots youth and community engagement via film and media.” This not-for-profit organization has produced award-winning films, bringing focus to the voices of the young people it represents. Started as a small group of volunteers in 1995, MCP is now a “second home” for many of the students who participate in its programs.

Congratulations to our “friend from the East End,” MCP, and the students of Swansea School! We wish you all the best in sustaining this wonderful initiative.

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