Q&A with Revive co-founder Jada Atchu-Yudom

Written by: Molly Hardwick

Q&A with mental health organization ‘Revive’

We interviewed Jada Atchu-Yudom, the Founder and Chief Executive Director at Revive.

Revive’s mission statement is to strive to de-stigmatize in relation to mental health. Would you tell us some more about the organization and what you do to achieve this?

Yup, so we focus on de-stigmatizing the conversation around mental health. Studies show that many mental illnesses start developing during adolescence and one of the main -- if not the actual main -- reason youth don't seek help/treatment is because of the stigma. For a countless number of years, people with mental conditions have been wrongly considered "dangerous" and "violent", and there are many factors contributing to this such as media, but there's a stigma nonetheless. We go about our mission by really just sharing stories and taking advantage of social media platforms to talk more about mental health. Storytelling is something so simple, yet so effective. Many people contact us saying that they want to get interviewed and most of the time they also ask if they are eligible. Anyone is eligible, you know? Everyone has a story to share, you don't have to have a mental illness or some sort of trauma for your story to matter. Everyone feels negative emotions sometime in their life and it's important to speak about it. We've just started storytelling this past month and have already shared a little more than 50 stories from people worldwide.

Where did the idea of Revive stem from?

It's actually weird, I was not interested at all in creating a non-profit. One day, my friends and I were having a group conversation and then out of the blue Sania, the other founder and director, brought up the idea of starting an initiative. She volunteered around a lot so I'm guessing she got inspired by the organizations she was part of. My other friends instantly agreed and got excited but I, on the other hand, was kind of hesitant. My aunt worked around the process of starting a nonprofit and I knew the legalities were complicated and we were minors so it was even more complicated. Then we all agreed that we wouldn't register yet and we haven't become a 501 even now since we chose not to be charitable, but everything's going great so far.

Revive’s social media platform, specifically Instagram, is used so well to educate and act as a positive space to inform and discuss so many topics. How do you think social media correlates to our mental health and what can people do to make their experience of social media more positive?

To be honest, I believe that social media does more harm than good for mental health for the most part. Besides encouraging people to become more looks-centered, increasing depression, anxiety, all that, social media also offers an easy platform for bullies. All this is why I really don't use my personal social media platforms, but I guess all you can really do is look out for clear-cut signs of negativity and just know your worth and don't compare yourself.

Revive recently held a really notable online conference on anti-bullying. The pandemic has undoubtably had a huge effect on mental health and did you find a positive response in meeting together online in curbing people’s loneliness in regard to mental health issues?

Yes, we did have a conference. I didn't attend it because our events team was in charge so I'm not too sure about all that went down that day, but I hope that there was a positive impact.

Is there anything else you wish to tell us about the organization and your future plans?

Thank you for having me!

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