Behind the campaign

This campaign was launched by Handicap International and Witness Change. Handicap International provided Witness Change’s photographer with access to four communities, but did not have editorial control over the images.

Witness Change is a non-profit that seeks to end human rights violations for marginalized communities through visual storytelling.

Handicap International is an independent and impartial aid organization, working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. Handicap International works alongside people with disabilities and vulnerable populations. It bears witness and takes action, in order to respond to their essential needs, improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights.

About the project

Mental health problems will affect one in four of us in our lifetime. The impacts of this are shocking. Mental health problems cause more disease impact than any other illness – more than cardiovascular disease or cancer. The problem impacts the social, economic and public health of communities across the globe. Yet mental health is not a global priority in action, funding or policy.

Witness Change believes we have an obligation to prevent death and alleviate suffering when it is within our power to do so; therefore, adequate mental health care must be both a moral imperative and a fundamental human right.

Two things stand in the way of tackling mental health challenges:

1: Stigma. We must address discrimination because it prevents people from seeking the help they need and receiving support in their communities, and it stops mental health from being a global health policy priority.

2: Action. Members of the global community must act on their commitments. Mental health needs to be a global development priority, as outlined by the World Health Organisation, and member states must be compelled to deliver on the Mental Health Action Plan.

In My World is a bold new campaign that uses a visual storytelling approach to highlight these challenges. We created this website to give people living with mental health issues the chance to be seen, heard and valued. Working with Handicap International, we started the campaign in Lebanon, South Sudan, Togo and Madagascar focusing on countries in crisis, and post-conflict situations. We will continue to travel to countries around the world, telling stories about the different circumstances and environments that impact people’s mental health. By giving everyone a platform to tell their story, we break the silence and challenge the stigma that shroud mental health.

Featuring the images of award winning photographer Robin Hammond, the stories gathered here humanize the issue of mental health. The stories will be used in advocacy work until 2020, including in the work of Handicap International; in the World Health Assembly; and by our research partners at Columbia University, the Wellcome Trust, and FundaMental SDG.

We invite you to join our campaign. Share the stories of people whose voices are not normally heard; or share your story of mental health and one day in your world.

Robin Hammond
Photos, Video and concepts

Shannon Sanders
Video editor and multimedia project manager

Hello Monday

Andreas Hall
Music Design