Two Auckland-based friends Charlotte-Rose Ruddell and Liv Young began working on MENTAL in 2016. Reflecting on their own mental health experiences they both realised there were limited opportunities for people to voice their stories in New Zealand. They both felt mental health impacts New Zealand on such an immeasurable and incomprehensible scale. As part of this, they found that some attitudes and perceptions around those experiencing mental health were misleading, and some genuine experiences misunderstood.
In 2017 the duo collected around 100 stories from individuals.
This collection continues to grow.
2018 sees Liv at the helm of MENTAL, and the person talking to every writer over email, or in person. Designer and illustrator, Anieszka Banks is on board to manage the website development and colourful friends found on the site. Sub-editing is carefully overseen by Claire Duncan.
Yet it is the story-tellers that make up the most invaluable part of the MENTAL team.