TRẦM is a project initiated by RMIT Vietnam’s new Bachelor of Communication (Professional Communication) student Ho Ngoc Yen Uyen which aims to reshape the younger generation’s mindset around mental health. Her goal is to work towards erasing mental health stigma and fostering empathy for patients suffering depression.
Having experienced an unwanted event related to a mental illness during her childhood devastated Uyen and made her wonder “why people would have sympathy for and help a physically wounded person but would condemn someone living with a mental health issue”.
“Had I been aware about those signs [of depression] earlier, I could have given timely intervention,” Uyen recalled.
Her determination transfigured into TRẦM which then advanced smoothly with 73 members and 6,400 online supporters.
“After a year, however, her team had to face multiple criticism saying that this project was exaggerating the problems,” Uyen said. “Our team reached out to psychotherapists for consultation and eventually concluded the core problem: people could not see the mental pain that the depressed endured, so they suspect depressive behaviours to be an overreaction.”
“Hence, we attempted to visualise mental suffering through an online art psychotherapy 3D exhibition, hoping to convince people of the existence of invisible pain.”
Her team’s new approach succeeded with numerous compliments from 458 participants who appreciated that the event helped them be compassionate and offer appropriate help for their friends.
From this improvement, the young girl from Can Tho province has comprehended the importance of leveraging the audience’s insights.
“It drove me to delve into other unexplored communication principles to progress my project further,” she said.