By: Yvette Hess

Our Lived Experience (OLE) is an ongoing project aimed at educating people about mental illness in South Africa. OLE was born out of the idea that the wealth of knowledge lives within the bodies of people and it is where real life experience and sharing it becomes more than just useful. It becomes wisdom. OLE is a platform where these experiences, news and other information are shared- where a community is created.

OLE comprises a team of two bloggers, Yvette Hess (Cape Town) and Blahpolar Diaries (Eastern Cape). Blah is a curator of note and is well-known for her link dumps about manic depression. Yvette rants about living with mental illness as a mother and a wife to one very sane man. But together they make up OLE and strive to put forth a wealth of good stuff for you to chew on, for people who need it, making it accessible and keeping it local. *pop*

Together with WBFL, OLE will keep readers updated on the latest and maybe not-so-greatest in mental health in South Africa.

As this is our introduction post- we’ll keep it light.

Our first stop is at the University of Cape Town where we look at perinatal health. The Perinatal Mental Health Project (PHMP) run programmes where they help pregnant women and mothers in adversity with their mental health. Women, who have received their help, share their stories and we were inspired to share one of those on our site. PMHP do tremendously great work and we look forward to seeing some of their blog posts on our site where they’ll share more light on the importance of maternal health. Read more.

Bipolar disorder in Africa is a huge topic but our Blah tackled it bit by bit in a fashionable link dump. She takes us from Rwanda to Senegal and highlights the biggest issues we face: stigma and lack of resources. Read more.

Lastly we call out to you, oh reader. Are you a blogger or writer or just someone who is open about their mental illness? Maybe you’re a partner or family member of someone who suffers from mental illness. And yes, depression is a mental illness too. We’d love to hear from you! We have shiny new badges you can put on your blog. Read more.

‘Till the next post.

There’s always help. There’s always hope.

Tweet us: @life_ole

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