Through our work on The Drift Sessions we discovered a series of gaps and a need and Drift is our way of filling those gaps and meeting that need.
The Need - changing percepitons.
When you say 'Mental Health' the first thing that probably pops into your head is Mental Illness. Things like depression, anxiety, bipolar. The thing is Mental Health is bigger than that. Everyone has mental health, and virtually everyone will at some stage or other have issues with their mental health. Whether its the feeling of tensions, stress or anxiety because of life's throwing a series of challenges your way, to an issue that has a diagnosis, a name and more involved treatment.
Drift acknowledges that Mental Health is huge and covers absolutely everything from being well and flourishing, to being mentally unwell and languishing! That's a massive continuum and it involves every single person on the plant.
The Gaps - Access, Outlet, Awareness and Expression.
When we were chatting with a couple of Mental Health Professionals on sunny afternoon we discovered just how difficult it can be to access information, to know where to go if you need help, think something's not right but you're not sure what it is, or simply want information. This is especially so if you have no 'label' to run with. No diagnosis, or term you can use to start your search.
Drift will be the place that connects the existing information, resources and services and makes it easier to find what you're after. You'll be able to sit at your computer, tell Drift in a few easy steps what you're looking for and it will filter the myriad of information, contacts, shared experience and more and give you what you're after. You don't need a diagnosis, you dont' need a label.
This is a big ask - and the focus for the development of the Drift Site will be exactly this capability.
One of the other things we discovered is that the most inspiration and relief comes from hearing that others have been where you are, have shared the experiences you are experiencing. Drift will be a place to see, hear and share experiences. Drift is the place where you realise you're not alone!
Drift will run a series of brilliant projects in collaboration with others (organisations, individiuals, programmes, etc). For example:
Drift Sessions - The first drift sessions is in progress. It involves the creation of an album of original music aimed at raising awareness of a Mental Health area - this first Drift Sessions is focused on Men's Mental Health. In 2012 we will be doing it all again, but this time with two significant differences. The 2012 Drift Sessions will be focused on Youth, and will open up the opportunity for budding song writers and musicians to contribute to the album. Keep your eyes peeled because it won't be long before we start filling you in on the detail.
Drift/Big Voice Collaboration - this is a work in progress and will see the creation of multi-media documentaries using a completely participatory approach that has been crafted by the good people at Big Voice. The theme for these documentaries will be 'Rethink' - Rethinking Mental Health. Again - keeps your eyes peeled because project will launch in 2011 and we'll be looking to you for participants.
Creative Expression is a vital tool in maintaining mental wellness. It offers an outlet for the tensions and issues we have, and provides the inspiration and motivation we often seek. Drift will offer the opportunity for anyone to contribute and share their creative expressions. Visual arts, moving image, lyrics, music, poetry, prose. What ever it is we'll help you share it.
The website is now up and running - so check out www.drift.org.nz