What is a Role Model? Not too long ago, we decided that it wasn't enough to cast fashion models based on height and comp cards. We wanted to showcase the stories of real people, who are brave enough to wear their label. Josh is one of those Role Models.
WYL: Tell us a bit about yourself:
My name is Josh Clapp. I am 19 years old living in Toronto and I am currently pursuing my Bachelor’s in Film and Media Production. I hope to achieve my dreams by working within the film industry and continuing to bring many different visions to life. I enjoy physical activities, spending time with friends, watching movies, photography, film, and overall just having a good time. I love to laugh and make others people feel good about themselves.
WYL: What is your connection to mental illness? Why do you want to share your story?
Not only have I suffered minor from mental illness, but I have also watched it destroy the lives of so many of my close friends that cope with it every single day. It was after these incidents where I realized that I had absolutely no clue how to properly help them. I want to share my story and become more educated on mental illness in order to not only help myself, but also to be able to help those around me. I want to help empower youth and enable them to find that inner strength in order to keep pushing forward.
WYL: How have you overcome your struggles?
For me, the biggest thing that helped was simply talking about it. It was that process of taking a step back, trying to figure out what was going on, breathing and then getting my friend’s and family’s advice. There were days where I was feeling upset, angry or things I didn't understand and I was not really sure why, and I would approach my friends and they would either give me advice or just let me vent. I felt that approach to dealing with my, although not severe, struggles to be incredibly beneficial.
WYL: How do you help others overcome a mental health challenge they might be facing?
Similarly to the previous answer, when I have been on the other end of these types of situations, I always let the person struggling know that I am and always will be there for them if they need anything. Reassuring the person that you are not going anywhere can be very comforting. Sometimes having the person express their emotions and feelings without trying to provide helpful feedback can be just as powerful as actually providing feedback. Never judge a person for feeling a certain way because you never know what they are dealing with. There have been specific moments where the situation had become life threatening and it is during times like this where you need to aid the person in getting the proper treatment. There are numerous help centers and outlets that can help people struggling so that they do not have to suffer in silence and guiding them there is a good choice.
WYL: If you could describe your mental health struggle in one word what would it be?
WYL: Why is ending the stigma important to you?
Ending the stigma is important to me because in today’s society there are far too many people suffering in silence. No one should feel as though they are alone. They need to know that there is help out there and people do care. The stigma needs to end because we are all humans and we all deserve the right to feel safe, to feel important, to feel loved, to feel accepted and to feel like we are enough. Thank you, Wear Your Label, for creating something so beautiful and important to so many people.