Dani Z 2011 Mental Health Hero Cartoon-A-Thon by Chato Stewart

Dani Z 2011 Mental Health Hero Cartoon-A-Thon by Chato Stewart

Dani Z 2011 Mental Health Hero Cartoon-A-Thon by Chato Stewart

Dani Z is a mental health consumer and advocate. She uses You Tube and social media to raise awareness about mental health issues and to eliminate the stigma associated with them. In her video blog Dani talks about her life and living with borderline personality disorder along with other mental health issues. The only intent she had when she started out with her video blog was just to have a place to vent but it has turned into something more than that. It is a way that she raises awareness about mental health issues by teaching people about the symptoms and struggles she faces. Her video blog is also a way for Dani to end the stigma around mental illness by being herself on camera and showing world that people with mental illness are just regular people.

Dani Z is very open and honest about her ups and downs but she always stays recovery focused. She tells her viewers about her experiences and shares tips and advice that has helped her. By doing this she is able to offer support to her viewers by letting them know they are not alone in their struggles and that things can get better.

Dani’s videos have over 100,000 views. You Tube has even recognized her accomplishment by making her a partner. Once she saw how successful her videos were and that they were helping people she began to work through social media campaigns to raise awareness about mental health issues and support people that live with them.

Dani Z’s latest project is an organization she started called Kindle a Light. She named it that after her favorite quote by Carl Jung. ““As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” The goal of the organization is to raise awareness about mental health conditions, support people that have them and to end the associated stigma.  The organization also encourages people that have mental health conditions to get involved in supporting each other and in advocacy work. Dani realized that helping others and her advocacy work has played a big part in her recovery. She wants to encourage others to get involved in the same kind of work because she thinks it will benefit their recovery too.

Currently Kindle a Light started the Mental Health Awareness Video Campaign on You Tube. It is a community video blog that people can come forward and tell their mental health stories. Kindle a Light also opened up an online shop that sells mental health awareness gear. All the profits go to mental health charities.

Dani Z feels like she is just getting started in her advocacy work. She is excited to see her organization grow and is excited for her own growth and recovery. Please check out the links below to connect with Dani Z and learn more about the projects she is involved in.

Dani Z’ Links

You Tube video blog: http://www.youtube.com/user/thedanizblog

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thedanizpage

Twitter: http://twitter.com/thedanizblog

Kindle a Light links

You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/kindleALight

Shop: http://www.cafepress.com/kindlealight

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KindleALight
Bonus Drawing from my 8yr old Precious:


  1. Pingback:Dani Borderline Z Mental Health Hero | Mental Health Humor

  2. Amanda says:

    How is she a “mental health hero” when she’s just as crazy as anyone else with Bipolar Disorder? A hero should be someone who’s overcome and continues to work towards staying healthy. How can you help someone if you can’t even help yourself? Making videos about sleeping with men and thinking about suicide, I don’t look up to that. She doesn’t belong on this site. I’m sorry, but you know this is the truth. Dani Z is not a hero.

    1. admin says:

      It’s the ability to be able to speak up about living with mental illness that makes us all heroes. We are no longer in the shadows of society, no longer locked away… We are real people living with real serous issues like suicide… Talking about it empowers us, and can empower others.

      Chato

  3. Karen says:

    Awareness is not enough what she’s doing seems to be staying on the internet opposed to irl action (not inclusive of her own treatment), I feel sad after watching her because I see her struggling so much. She is very close to the issues she’s talking about that is some great first hand experience and advice right there but ultimately warped by the many complexities of trying to make sense of our own mental illness.

    Btw Youtube is one word so you have some more work to get your writing skills up a level.

    PEACE.

    1. admin says:

      Karen, the last video i seen she seemed fine and honest talking about the up’s and down’s she is working on. I’m going to check out her updates now… But i stand behind what I said in my comment below… Oh, and your right about You Tube being one word. The fact that you feel the need to bash Dani Z and then my “writing skills”… Tells me that nothing I say or Dani Z says will ever be o.k with you. That’s O.k. with me cause your entitled to your opinion. Thanks for sharing it.

    2. Dani Z says:

      You don’t have to feel sorry for me. I get messages from people every day thanking me for my videos because they say when they watch them they don’t feel so alone.

      “I want to say that your videos describe the emotions and feelings SO well. It’s like scary. Like you put into words things I have been trying to say for a long time. ”

      “Hey, i just want to say thank you for what you do. You have made me feel like i’m not alone after all!”

      “You are so articulate, insightful, and inspiring. ♥”

      “Hey thanks for your courage, I swear the things you say come out of my gfs mouth. it’s really good that you are prepared to share this stuff. It really helps others. good luck. B”

      “Ive been watching your videos for a few months now just want to tell you how much they help! Whenever I start having an anxiety attack I put on one of the videos and they remind me that the way Im acting is the BPD, not me. I dont have a great support system when it comes to this, so your videos are a life line! Thanks a million chick, you’re an inspiration. Keep up the good work! :)”

      “Dani you are so authentic. It can be very difficult at times for me particularly to just share in these sorts of ways. However in order for people to really get what I

      am saying I just say it. I have gotten so much help as well just from watching other people’s videos as they describe their symptoms. When I hear them it let’s me know that there are others who experiencing the same sorts of things as well. I am also learning about different Mental Illness to better understand others.”

      “just wanted to say…my hats off to you for sharing with the rest of us. It is helping me understand what my ex goes through.”

      “Another touching and inspiring message. Thanks for posting this — sure to be helpful to many people.”

      “I’m really glad I found ur channel. A lot of the stuff u talk about I can relate to 100%. it’s actually kinda weird to me.. Because I always felt so alone in my struggles. To know that other people feel just like me and got better is very encouraging. I just started dbt… And I’m hopeful. Thank u for your courage to share you story with the world.”

      “I just joined YTB Ive watched sum of your videos and it has helped me to be more aware of my feelings thoughts and behaviors. I am 29 years old and was told by a doctor that I have BPD when I was 24. It is the truth this is a real disorder and I really want to express my story. I cant believe how many ppl deal with this it is really REAL! We are all beautiful and have the potential to get through this but it takes support prayer and the right treatment. I hope u r well, Im gonna post vids soon!”

      “I learned something new from your video:)”

      “Real Topics, Bravery, and Beauty

      . . . .this is why I subscribed . . . .”

      I may not be helpful to you but people tell me everyday that I am helping them.

  4. Amanda says:

    Anyone can post a video on YouTube. That doesn’t make you a hero. It makes you a person who makes YouTube videos. Like Karen, I feel sorry for her. She’s definitely struggling and has a long way to go. What you’re doing with your site is great, but I don’t think it’s okay to have her on here. She can actually make you more depressed if you were dealing with issues and watched her videos. I’ve said my peace and that’s all I can do.

    1. admin says:

      I’m sorry you feel that way Amamda… I just would not watch her… She must be reaching one or two of her 2,104 subscribers. Like humor, advocacy has different approaches that appeal to different people. My criteria for a Mental Health hero was simple… It had to be one of my peers, people like me living with a mental illness “trying to make a difference”. Dani Z and every one of my Heroes this year fit that criteria…

      Thanks for your comment and saying your peace… If you are an advocate let me know and i will happy review your work for next year. 🙂

    2. Dani Z says:

      You don’t have to feel sorry for me. I get messages from people every day thanking me for my videos because they say when they watch them they don’t feel so alone.

      “I want to say that your videos describe the emotions and feelings SO well. It’s like scary. Like you put into words things I have been trying to say for a long time. ”

      “Hey, i just want to say thank you for what you do. You have made me feel like i’m not alone after all!”

      “You are so articulate, insightful, and inspiring. ♥”

      “Hey thanks for your courage, I swear the things you say come out of my gfs mouth. it’s really good that you are prepared to share this stuff. It really helps others. good luck. B”

      “Ive been watching your videos for a few months now just want to tell you how much they help! Whenever I start having an anxiety attack I put on one of the videos and they remind me that the way Im acting is the BPD, not me. I dont have a great support system when it comes to this, so your videos are a life line! Thanks a million chick, you’re an inspiration. Keep up the good work! :)”

      “Dani you are so authentic. It can be very difficult at times for me particularly to just share in these sorts of ways. However in order for people to really get what I am saying I just say it. I have gotten so much help as well just from watching other people’s videos as they describe their symptoms. When I hear them it let’s me know that there are others who experiencing the same sorts of things as well. I am also learning about different Mental Illness to better understand others.”

      “just wanted to say…my hats off to you for sharing with the rest of us. It is helping me understand what my ex goes through.”

      “Another touching and inspiring message. Thanks for posting this — sure to be helpful to many people.”

      “I’m really glad I found ur channel. A lot of the stuff u talk about I can relate to 100%. it’s actually kinda weird to me.. Because I always felt so alone in my struggles. To know that other people feel just like me and got better is very encouraging. I just started dbt… And I’m hopeful. Thank u for your courage to share you story with the world.”

      “I just joined YTB Ive watched sum of your videos and it has helped me to be more aware of my feelings thoughts and behaviors. I am 29 years old and was told by a doctor that I have BPD when I was 24. It is the truth this is a real disorder and I really want to express my story. I cant believe how many ppl deal with this it is really REAL! We are all beautiful and have the potential to get through this but it takes support prayer and the right treatment. I hope u r well, Im gonna post vids soon!”

      “I learned something new from your video:)”

      “Real Topics, Bravery, and Beauty

      . . . .this is why I subscribed . . . .”

      I may not be helpful to you but people tell me everyday that I am helping them.

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