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.
You Tube video blog: http://www.youtube.com/user/thedanizblog
Kindle a Light links
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/kindleALight
Bonus Drawing from my 8yr old Precious: