The inside out challenge

By October 1, 2017the social scene

“Flatness permeates the Landscape. This flatness is not literal. No. It cloaks its true nature under a hyper-real facade”

Nick Sousanis, Unflattening

What is the #insideoutchallenge?

The #insideoutchallenge is an initiative created by Yasaman Gheidi, @lilmoonchild, who challenged instagrammers to express mental health by creating visual representations of their own experiences. Initially Yasaman posted videos (see below) promoting her challenge, and began sharing her own visual creations expressing her own experience with mental health. Emerging, was a wave of ‘grammers expressing their internal experience, outwardly, in creative, beautiful and innovative ways.

Why is the #insideoutchallenge important?

At times, we forget to look for new ways of understanding and curiously engaging with our explanations of … well .. ourselves. We often only take in the information about ourselves that aligns with our already understood way of perceiving “me”, “us” and the world around us. Psychologist Barry Schwartz, in his talk “the way we think about work is broken” states that:

“Human nature will be changed by the theories we have that are designed to explain and help us understand human beings”

Especially when it comes to that which is invisible, internal, and without solid form, e.g. Mental Health, we sometimes overlook the power we have to shape and create what mental health “is” and “means”, and only accept ideas that align with that which we are told and have believed for a long time.

It is clear that the way we think about mental health is broken. It is clear that stigma permeates the conversation around mental health. It is clear that sharing of your own mental health experience is not easily done. It is also clear that talking about mental health is not enough! We need to do more than talk about mental health in the way that it has already been talked about. We need to change the way we talk about it. We need to discuss mental health in a way that changes the way we see mental health.

The #insideoutchallenge literally helps us change the way we see mental health by putting a new ‘face’ to the ‘label’. And so, we begin to see what is underneath the label. The #insideoutchallenge helps us change the way we see mental health by encouraging expression of mental health and creating more comfort in sharing of our mental health experience.  The #insideoutchallenge helps us change the way we see mental health by focusing on emotions and the feelings, rather than on the judgments and labels that can come with them. By portraying mental health visually, the #insideoutchallenge helps others connect to the emotion and feeling expressed in an immediate, simple and flexible way. And in the same way, we need our conversations around mental health to be more immediate and more flexible if we are truly to change the way we see it.

To check out the range of #insideoutchallenge submissions

Type in #insideoutchallenge into your search bar on instagram

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