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We Need to Talk About Mental Health - a Comic

December 7, 2020

By Liz Argall

We need to talk about Mental Health - a comic by Liz Argall.

If you see this: Help! They are all coming after me in a co-ordinated global conspiracy,         trying to destroy all I love! 

Remember we live in an iceberg society.

The people called crazy? 
I can't love things anymore or they'll hurt it. I can't love the libraries or they'll come for them... defund them. They ARE coming for them, oh god!!

They're often reflecting something much broader + deeper. A distorted mirror is still a mirror of sorts...

Humanizing support services, from schools to libraries to health care are chronically underfunded and it could get worse.

If a disaster made your fears + nightmares visible...

Racist populists are coming to power all over the world. 

They're using gaslighting techniques and emotional abusers. Abuse has been gamified.

People practice stalking, doxxing and slander campaigns on BIPOC folks, on women and anyone queer, before moving on to "bigger" targets. 
and it can happen more easily than you'd like to think. 

What would it say about you, about us? 

The pornography of suffering + stalkers has led to non-consensual reality TV shows on the dark web. It means hidden camera in the shower to watch me cry. "No one would do that!" "It's illegal."

Why would that logic bring comfort? For some people, ethics are just a plaything.

In psychosis metaphors, social programming, fears + beliefs become more literal, exposed + collapse on each other. They can reveal the ills + joys of a person's lived experience + trained perceptions. 

That white fear can be so instinctively + blatantly used to threaten murder shows societal norms that are obscene.

We can control some of our inputs... but not all

If people with power choose to be triggered by your existence. 

When even resilience in the face of systemic torture is used as justification for brutalities. 

Systemic racism is systemic abuse. Compliance may increase odds, it does not guarantee safety. 

Is it any wonder that choose to run?

Some abusers are more obvious + easy to deal with or should be. 

But their pathology is a symptom of broader issues. 

And if those broader issues aren't dealt with it can even help more charming abusers. 

Many careers + lives have been ruined by the stark raving sane.

We need to get better at talking about mental health. 

Which requires listeners to actually listen. A lot of discrimination is accidental but still damaging. 

Learning with it's stigmatising distraction 

Compassion is not the same as enablement.

Pink is real. 

Pink elephants taking over can be exchanged for many psychosis encouraging, toxic conspiracy theories such as white genocide.

Disaster can damage our mental health. Especially with chronic disasters of unknown length.  

Makes it harder to get to the Post part of a Post Traumatic Growth. 

Drought colonisation and COVID-19 are just a few types of chronic disaster.

The mental pressures will get higher + research indicateds that 2021 will have disasters.

Climate change won't wait for us to sort out our shit. 

WE have a a lot to heal, grives and take action on, and we have to do it all at once. 

But the brilliant thing is we can heal and the work we must attend to is also the most powerful healing.

We thank Liz Argall for sending us her latest comic. Liz told us that earlier in the year, just before Covid-19 hit, she had felt the pressing need to create a longer comic, one telling a more difficult story. While her Things without comics focus on kindness, feelings and connection, there were underlying issues that she felt needed addressing.

A confronting and challenging comic, such as the one floating in Liz’s vision, was always going to be a significant work, scenes and words carefully crafted.

“I knew I needed to reach out, and stretch out, and then much of the world shut down (or needed to shut down).” Fortunately, a Covid safe creative space emerged, Graphic Medicine’s ‘Drawing Together’ meetups, and the at first weekly and later monthly gatherings, came at just the right time.

It became her creating space - a place to connect, share and be challenged, and of course to produce confronting content inspiring us to all be better in a world where unity is so desperately needed. We Need to Talk About Mental Health is that comic. We hope it sparked something in you and that you are prompted to pass it on to others that will also be sparked by it.

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