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Using photography to shine a light on mental illness

Inspired by the loss of a friend to suicide, Sydney-based photographer Glenn Marsden set out to capture powerful images to raise awareness for mental ill-health and suicide prevention, which led to his Imperfectly Perfect campaign.

“I wanted to use my photographic skills to give people the opportunity to genuinely express their emotions and connect in a world that has become so isolating,” said Mr Marsden.

“I began taking photos of high-profile people I knew who suffered from mental health issues or were closely connected to someone who did. I then used social media as a global public gallery to display those photos and the story behind them.”

The images, he said, show the “powerfully raw, true face of those affected by mental illness” – those who suffer from it and those who have suffered because of it.

Local and international actors, media and business public figures who have revealed the imperfect side of themselves through Marsden’s lens and their own words of mental health experience include Sam ‘Sam Mac’ McMillan, Dominic Purcell, Jeremy Jackson, Rebecca Gibney, Hugh Sheridan, Julie Snook, Willie Mason, Wes Carr, Perez Hilton and more.

That project, and initial motivation, has snowballed into a global movement for change, amassing tens of thousands of online followers and ever-increasing donations to Imperfectly Perfect.

“We’ve reached the stage where we now need public support to help us take this campaign to the next level, and launching a GoFundMe campaign was the best way to do that. We have even bigger goals to chase to change the face of mental health,” he said.

To do this, Mr Marsden is looking to establish Imperfectly Perfect as a charitable foundation, following which it will be more easily able to “raise funds to launch its mental health awareness roadshows, produce unique resources and establish its own mental health support network”.

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Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy is a senior writer for Lawyers Weekly and Wellness Daily at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in early 2018, Jerome is admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales and, prior to joining the team in early 2018, he worked in both commercial and governmental legal roles and has worked as a public speaker and consultant to law firms, universities and high schools across the country and internationally. He is also the author of The Wellness Doctrines self-help book series and is an adjunct lecturer at The University of Western Australia.

Jerome graduated from the University of Technology, Sydney with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Social Inquiry).

You can email Jerome at: [email protected] 

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“Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain