In honour of World Mental Health Day, we speak to Brooklyn based film maker and Sad Girls Club founder, Elyse Fox.
As an issue very close to our hearts, we are so inspired by Elyse's work with Sad Girls Club; a non-profit organisation founded to diminish the stigma around mental health, and seeks to help women of colour and immigrant communities. We speak about her experience with mental health and the platform she's created...
Firstly, how are you today?
“I’m more focused than I’ve ever been at this time. With everything happening in the world I’m always trying to find ways to help and uplift my people.”
Speaking of helping people, congratulations on everything you have achieved with Sad Girls Club to date. Tell us about how it all started, why you created it, and why it’s so essential to talk about mental health?
“Thanks! SGC was founded after I released a documentary film about my experience with depression. The film resonated well with young women globally who were seeking a space to share their mental health experiences. I decided to create Sad Girls Club to diminish the stigma around mental health and create a community for us to heal together.”
Why was it important for you to focus on women of colour and of immigrant descent?
“When I was at my lowest I didn’t see social media pages, websites or groups who looked like me speaking positively about mental health. There is SO much deep rooted stigma amongst POC and migrant families and I understand first-hand how that can play a role in your mental health journey. We want to help you heal.”
Your platform originated on Instagram. How do you feel about the impact that social media plays with depression and mental health, and how do you teach others to use it sensibly?
“I think social media is a great tool if used responsibly. Without social media SGC wouldn’t be what it is today. We teach our community to take social media breaks if they need to, follow pages that make them feel positive, and block words/hashtags that are triggers.”
We love your take on group counselling with the introduction of Soul Session’s this Summer. Was this something you had in the pipeline or something that you were inspired to introduce due to the mental health consequences of the pandemic?
“A major goal I’ve always had for Sad Girls Club was to create free therapy. We are currently fundraising to offer 1-on-1 therapy to our community, and Soul Sessions is a great way for the community to get a small taste of group healing.”
Has becoming a mother changed your perspective on life and mental health? If so, how?
“Becoming a mother has really helped me discover how much change I want to see in the world and how to best use my time. Motherhood has also taught me how to set and keep boundaries.”
What impact do you want to have on the future of conversations around mental health?
“To be known as a pioneer in the mental health community, someone who has helped expand resources and develop mental health normalcy for generations to come.”
Each month we donate £1 from every online order to a charity of our choice that fights for environmental and social change. This month, we will be donating to Sad Girls Club.
Find Elyse here: @elyse.fox