A little bit of backstory:
"It started with a box of crayons". I experienced my crisis during college, and during hospitalization I began drawing with crayons. After I was discharged, I began sharing my story and auctioning my crayon drawings to raise money for youth suicide prevention programs. This led to raising thousands of dollars and the idea to start The Giving Gallery, an online art platform where artists can sell their art to support mental health charities.
Mental Health Filmmaking
I bought my first camera in 2012 and flew to England to visit Bedlam, the oldest psychiatric hospital in the world. This felt like a good place to begin my filmmaking journey. This culminated in my first film "A Global Mental Health Perspective". I then launched my filmmaking company Lipp Studios and began working with clients to help promote their treatment programs through storytelling.
After I was discharged from the hospital I also became interested in mental health policy and leadership. At 19, I started volunteering for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) where I gave talks at local schools and raising money. I was then appointed to the CA Board of Directors, followed by NAMI National. This experience was challenging and inspiring; learning at a young age how to speak up and represent an issue that is both personal to me and also a public health issue.
Coming out as gay was - and is - a big part of my mental health. I now realize that my struggles growing up correlated with my struggles navigating my sexual orientation and identity. I came to learn that the likelihood of sexual minority death by suicide is estimated to be 2-7x times greater than heterosexual youth.This is why I believe mental health and LGBTQ are two sides of the same coin, and collaboration and research between the two is critically important.
I feel most the most at peace when I'm rock climbing up a mountain, or descending down on my mountain bike. These more "extreme" activities serve as a counter-balance to the extremes of my own mind, and where I can simply have fun and meet like-minded people. It's a constant practice for me to find this balance and invest in myself as much as my work career.
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Amanda captures individuals stories from adversity to opportunity to promote mental health awareness and systems change. Amanda’s creative approach is grounded in social psychology, behavioral change, and systems change theories.Learn More
The Giving Gallery
Amanda first had the idea for The Giving Gallery startup while she was a patient at a psychiatric hospital during college. She raised thousands of dollars for mental health nonprofits from auctioning the crayon drawings she made during her recovery. This evolved into a global online art gallery where artists can sell their art and share their story to fundraise for mental health nonprofits.Learn More