Do What You Want is a zine about mental health, put together by author and food writer Ruby Tandoh and her partner Leah Pritchard, with all profits going to charities and not-for-profit organisations.
With nearly 150 pages of interviews, essays and illustration, Do What You Want is a celebration of all aspects of mental wellbeing, from the provision of accessible mental health care to the power of self-belief. With a strong intersectional focus, this is a zine about mental health for all people, in all walks of life. We believe that mental health care and support should be a right for all.
From Ruby: “Over the years we have both suffered from mental health problems and one of the most difficult things about those times was how difficult it was to seek help, and how isolating the illness was. We both know first hand the stigma of being mentally ill, of not being able to be honest with friends and family about why you have withdrawn from work, social plans, studies, relationships. Although we have grown up in a generation that is more aware of mental health (and illness) than ever, we still felt that social pressure to “just cheer up” acutely. There is a real lack of understanding about the many different ways that mental illness can manifest, the things that trigger it, and what can be done to help.”
From Leah: “Even if you haven’t personally experienced mental ill health, we all know someone who has. So many of us suffer in silence because we’re afraid of how people might react. That’s why we wanted to make this magazine. As well as raising money for charities that help those with mental health problems, we wanted to make something that would provide a channel for people to engage with discussions around mental health and give a platform to those suffering from mental illness. As someone who has suffered trauma, and experienced anxiety and depression, my hope is that the magazine will promote empowerment and compassion in the face of the stigma, misinformation and oppression that issues around mental health so often carry.”