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Interview

Mae.

Hi there! My name is Mae and I’m the founder of Let’s Break the Shame, a mental health charity that tries to break the stigma around mental health struggles by means of stories, events, coaching sessions, workshops, videos, and more. I’ve set it up almost 2 years ago after being silent about my struggles with depression, anxiety, and eating for about 6 years. LBTS has grown over the past few years and I’m so happy to help a lot of other people, together with our team.

How does one’s environment affect their mental well-being?

One’s environment has a lot of effect on mental well-being. If you’re surrounded by people who keep on saying “just be happy” or make you feel as if your feelings are not valid, you start to believe that. This only causes further damage to someone’s well-being. If you’re surrounded by people who support you and try to understand what you’re going through, you can stop pretending your fine all the time and focus on your healing process.

How do you deal with your own mental health?

Good question. I am still struggling with this too. But I really like to read and go to bed early to watch a movie or series. Also, I cry a lot. I need to get those emotions out and crying is one of my ways to do it. 

I see you are the owner of Let’s break the shame, tell me some obstacles you faced when you first started the organization?

I think the first thing that crosses everyone’s mind when starting a business is: will people actually think this is valuable? Am I making a fool out of myself? Sometimes it’s still difficult to put myself out there, because I am afraid of what other people are gonna say. 

How did you make your organization a safe haven for people to come and share their stories?

I think what makes people most safe is the fact that everyone at LBTS has been struggling or is still struggling with their mental health. We understand them and we make them feel heard, creating a safe environment where no one judges.

Do you believe that the stigma around mental health has decreased to a notable extent in your community? What may be the reason for this? 

Well, in the LBTS community yes. Because we’re surrounded by people who understand each other. In real life, I’m not always surrounded by people who want/can/try to understand, but I’ve found my way to explain things from my point of view. I’m at that stage where I don’t let people get to me. Instead, I tell them what mental health struggles really feel like.

What are you most proud of in your organization?

My lovely team. 

Why do you think that there is shame surrounding mental health topics? Why do people refuse to talk about it?

I don’t “think” there is a shame around mental health topics; I know there is. I have experienced it myself and I’ve seen it in my own environment as well. It’s not something people refuse to talk about, but society makes them feel as if they’re not allowed to talk about it. As if they’re crazy. But they’re illnesses, just as physical ones, so why are we not allowed to talk about that? 

What would you want the Revive audiences to know?

You matter, you are beautiful & asking for help is okay.


Check out Let’s Break The Shame!

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