Talk..Listen… by A M Ovini H Amarasinghe

As defined by WHO, we should be in a complete physical, mental and social well-being to be completely healthy. We might be completely physically healthy but not mentally. Mental illness has the ability to, silently kill a person simultaneously every second, throughout a particular period of time. Most of us are not even aware that we have a mental illness. So how do we know, what we are experiencing is normal? As mentioned by Parrott and based on the discussions in class, we have an idea of how normal we are through quantitative (numbers) and qualitative (stories) information.  Lindsay Holmes, a Healthy Living Editor, The Huffington Post (, promotes mental awareness using the quantitative analysis. I was really amazed to see how ‘normal’ mental illness is these days. According to the statistics she has stated, 61,500,000 people experience mental disorder in a given year and the estimated economic cost of untreated mental illness is USD 100,000,000,000!! But 70-90% showed improvement when necessary healthcare was provided. 25% of people die by a suicide each year. These numbers show how complex and common mental illness is.
Narratives are also widely used to promote mental health awareness globally. I personally feel that narratives is the best way to create awareness of any mental illness. Narratives give people hope and show them that there is a way to get out. A person with a particular life threatening physical disease can be depressed and have no hope at all. But if she get proper mental care, she will get mentally stronger and happy. She will have hope and stand strong and fight her diseases which might actually help her to recover.  I came across an emotional narrative produced to raise self-awareness of the mental health of young people. This narrative was published by ‘Safe’ which is a youth-led project run by students in the UK. They try to raise mental health awareness and promote the youth to talk about their problems. In this narrative we see both qualitative and quantitative information used to show us where normalcy lie and to raise awareness as to what to do if you are feeling something similar. This video also helps a person to know how to identify if their friend is having a mental illness. This video shares stories of 7 different people ranging from 11 years to a university student(20 years). This video also makes the public aware of what’s going on in the head of depressed youth and what they try to do to get out of it. Most of them try to hurt themselves or either take it out on someone else. Chris who is really worried and depressed about his parents’ divorce and his elder brother, takes his anger out by bulling his friends. Laura who thinks she is fat tries to get out of her problem by smoking, not eating and even trying to get sick! Simon is haunted by thought that he might be gay and is finding difficulty in coming out. This video also promotes how to identify if one of our friends having a really bad time. Tom notices the change in his stressed friend and the scratches in his hand. Steph on the other hand lost her friend who committed suicide. This story shows us the eventual result of an ignored depressed person. She is depressed and tormented by the fact that her friend tried to talk with her but she ignored thinking that she was just trying to seek attention. These narratives help the community by promoting awareness, helping them to assert control. It helps to transform identities of many induvials who are silently tortured to come out and talk about their problems. Also, this narrative promotes the decisions a depressed person and the people who see the signs of a depressed person should take. This video helps to build the community, to show that we are not alone and encourage people to talk to someone AND also to listen to anyone who needs to ease the load in their minds.
Let’s talk it all out and ease our minds…
Let’s listen to it all with love because it can be you, who makes a difference in their lives!

A M Ovini H Amarasinghe


8 thoughts on “Talk..Listen… by A M Ovini H Amarasinghe

  1. I found this video very interesting. For the main reason that many of these videos have been made, but not these many different ages that more people can relate to. Having an 11 year old and a 20 year old in the same state of mind about themselves causes a more appealing tone and wide range of an audience. Also, having quantitative and qualitative reasoning in the video creates the rhetorical analysis triangle that touches every emotion of a person watching. Mental health issues are globally rising because of the mass awareness that has been happening. With each of these people in the video having a completely different story, yet having a similar feeling in the end is quite interesting. The narratives each person has makes them who they really are. I agree with you when you said that each person can share their narratives and help show that no one is alone and as a community, everyone should help each other out.


    • Thank you so much for the comment! Ya I agree with you about the fact that having people in the age range 11-20 targets a wide range in the population. This in turn shows that experiencing depression is quite normal to any age category.


  2. I really liked that video. I think it did a good job of explaining the mental health in all of us that we can’t explain. It also seemed to make a good point of how everyone has a narrative of their own to share. Really interesting post.


  3. I thought the video was incredibly powerful in its message. The fact that these children wore that tape on their mouths for the majority of the video and finally removed the tape in the end was amazing. I love that you talked about mental illness and suicide among young people because oftentimes when we think of health, we dismiss mental health. Well done.


    • Thank you for the comment! The taped mouths was the one that caught my interest in this video. Its actually ironic how they are taped and then they willingly remove it at the end.


  4. That video was extremely powerful. Narratives about mental illness are not only important for those struggling with it, but also for the general public to be able to recognize signs and understand what we can do to help our loved ones.


  5. This video was very well done its it ability to be powerful and grab the viewers attention. I think that narratives are extremely important for metal illness and do a great job of getting their message out. I really liked your post and agreed with it.
    -Cori Wolfe


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