Mina Tobias- don't MiND me'
You and your mother Madchen Amick are working very hard to raise awareness about mental health. At NFF we think it's amazing. I would love to give our readers more information on don't MIND me and the amazing work.
Can you talk about 'don’t MiND me' for those who don't know much about it?
Of course! 'don't MiND me' is a mental health foundation and movement started by my family and I. My mom Mädchen, my brother Sly, and my dad David were brought into the mental health world about ten years ago when one of our family members was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. From there, we were motivated to try and bridge the gaps we were coming across in the mental healthcare system, and pay it forward to the next family who would have to navigate these waters like we did. ‘don’t MiND me’ was born out of our determination to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness, unite all existing and future efforts, in order to implement direct impact in the lives of those most urgently in need of care.
What do you see in the future of the 'don’t MiND me' Foundation? What are the goals? And what do you think is necessary to achieve that goal?
Our main goals for the foundation and movement fall into three main categories: replace stigma with actionable recovery, provide funding in order to fill the gaps, and design an accessible future for mental health care. Through our social media outlets and our podcast, we are openly talking about our journey as a family and how that's led us to actually start analyzing our own individual mental health in the process. By talking openly and honestly with ourselves and our wonderful guests, we break down that stigma surrounding being transparent about your brain health! It's so important and so easy to do - and hopefully makes it a little bit less scary for others to talk about what they've been through too. But besides our mission to end mental health stigma, we want to take it a step further and create real, direct change. Things like scaling up interventions, funding more specialists in the field, supporting services to integrate into our existing general healthcare system, and providing equitable and evidence-based mental healthcare and its coinciding appropriate treatment. We have a lot planned for the future and are so proud and thankful of our team and partners who are helping us along the road.
The 'don't MiND me' podcast is great! How do you choose the guests? How often can we listen to the episodes and how can people subscribe and listen to them?
Thank you! Recording the 'don't MiND me' podcast was such an amazing, raw, and therapeutic process. As you'll hear in the episodes, we start with the tough process of what a family goes through when a loved one is recovering from a manic episode. By complete coincidence, we were dealing with this mental health crisis right when the podcast began filming - and though it was a very difficult time for all of us (and even more so for the person going through the manic episode), it was really meaningful to be able to react to that period of time as it was happening, minute by minute and hour by hour. There were a lot of tears and emotions as we processed what a mental health crisis is really like. The frustrations of when the health care system fails you... A huge shoutout to our producers at Aurra Studios for helping us tell that journey as we went through it. Choosing our guests so far has been a very natural thing. The people we've had on so far are friends and family that are wonderful advocates and allies that each have a unique perspective on mental health and well being, and we have an unbelievable lineup of new guests for the next installments that we can't wait to share. The 'don't MiND me' podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts - and we have several episodes/minisodes up already to listen to now!
What's * one * podcast interview question you really love to ask? Why?
Usually towards the end of the episode we like to check in with where we're at now. What are we doing at the moment to maintain our well being. I love that because we spend a lot of time learning about people's background and journey, and to follow up with a current check in feels like a great way to observe how far we've come through everything we've been through! Take my family for example - ten years ago, we didn't know much at all about mental health, bipolar, or anything of that nature. Fast forward to today, we've learned meditation, we're constantly educating ourselves about mental illness and diagnosis, we check in with each other constantly, we take mental health breaks, and some of us religiously take medication. A lot of our guests have other amazing ways they practice self care - Mariel Hemingway is a huge advocate for holistic self care, treating the body and mind. Tiera Skovbye is diligent about therapy. Everyone's answer is a testament to how far they've come in their journey and shows that no matter how challenging or low we've gotten in our lives, we humans are so freaking resilient.
At NFF we love meditation topics. 'don't MIND me' meditation? Can you tell us a little about this? who produces them and how can we access them?
Yes! 'don't MiND me ' has partnered with The Listening Planet and Platoon to bring unique nature sounds from around the world in combination with mindful meditation journeys narrated by my mom Mädchen and a few of her close friends (Kle MacLachlan, Mariel Hemingway, Jenna Dewan, Vanessa Morgan, Maggie Wheeler, Nathalie Bolt.) It's this really special collaboration that pairs 100% real nature sounds that have been carefully recorded from around the world along with this meditation series that guides you through a calming journey around the globe. It's another great extension of 'don't MiND me' s commitment to approaching mental health at every angle. The collaboration also benefits The Listening Planet's amazing environmental conservation efforts! It's available on Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes, wherever you listen to music.
Photo: Mädchen Amick, Mina Tobias by Kei Moreno
Where you can learn more about the new projects and donate?
We have all of our websites available on our link tree: https://linktr.ee/dontMiNDme_ (which is also linked in our bio on all of our social media sites). On the link tree, you can click the button to find our website, our meditation series, our podcast, and our donation link! 'don't MiND me' is on Instagram, Twitter, and Tik Tok @dontmindme, and Facebook is under the same name don't MiND me. Our website can also be found at dontmindme.org.
PHOTOS BY KEI MORENO
HAIR STYLIST JOHN RUGGIERO
MAKEUP DAVID MARVEL