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Amanda Tapping: The Companion Mental Health Panel at Basingstoke Comic Con

Embracing Mental Health as a Fandom: Panel at Basingstoke Comic Con.

Hello Companion Fam!

On Sunday, May 12 at Basingstoke Comic Con, Amanda Tapping led an uplifting, wonderful, and insightful discussion on the topic of Embracing Mental Health as a Fandom with myself Lawrence Kao (Founder at The Companion), Rebecca Davis (Producer at The Companion & Host of 3 Fries Short), and Sarah & Cristina (Hosts of 3 Fries Short). Most importantly, we were joined by a full house of members, fans and mental health advocates. It was truly inspiring to see.

The interview kicked off with why each of us care about mental health and personal stories that led to us working on this mission. From Amanda:

Many of you may know the story of my eldest brother Steven. He struggled with schizophrenia, epilepsy, and a myriad of other mental health issues, and I always felt that there wasn't enough that I could do for him as his only sister and one of the people responsible for his care in his later years. I never felt like I was doing enough.
When he passed, I saw his impact his life had on people at his funeral, a very impoverished area of Toronto...and they all had something wonderful to say about my brother. It changed my life and my perspective on my brother, and it also changed my perspective on mental health. He was stigmatized his entire life, and yet what he gave to his community in the end was so joyful and impactful, and he had such a huge impact on the little community that he lived in. I thought, 'Wow...,' we have stigmatized mental health for so long and not understood it at all.

When Amanda and I initially talked about projects on The Companion 3 years ago, we kept circling around the topic of mental health, but we always ended up working on something else. Amanda shared that on the surface, she didn't know why mental health was always top of mind, but ultimately, of course she knew why but almost didn't want to connect the dots.

After thinking about the story of her brother, and also seeing fans at conventions, it was time for all of us to fully commit to the cause.

Stargate and Sci-Fi fandom is so phenomenally inclusive and supportive, and you look out for each other. We care about each other. I see it at conventions, and I've seen it for 25 years, the impact you guys have on each other. And I just think the conversation is so ripe to be had. We all come from a place to really want to help and make people not feel alone.

This is only a summary of the first 5 minutes of our conversation so if you have half an hour, please enjoy our presentation of Embracing Mental Health as a Fandom: Live at Basingstoke Comic Con.

As always, thank you so much for supporting The Companion and our mission to raise awareness and support each other on our mental health journeys.

If you're not a paid member and would like to become one, you can sign up to our membership. A zero-cost way to support us is to sign up to our Free Membership or Subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Remember to check out our summer slate. We have incredibly exciting guests joining us and stay tuned for updates on crowdsourcing the book. See you at the next Livestream!