One of the things that we try our best to promote at APPK is overall well-being. Mental health is the backbone of what we stand for. The basis of being kind and genuine to others is something so often overlooked. Looking at society as a whole, we often create unrealistic social standards, mock others for our own insecurities, and separate ourselves for small reasons to fit a status quo. In return, anxieties form, depression may emerge, and some may even wonder if they belong in the world.
If you have these thoughts, you are not alone. You are loved by many and your life carries meaning.
This is one thing that Jana Rassool has pinpointed through her efforts in the Sunflower Movement. The Sunflower Movement was something that she created after the many suicide attempts at her high school and for the people her community have unfortunately lost. For those unfamiliar with Jana, she is an active photographer for our brand and is recognized for her talent in her community.
Through our brand, we aim to promote overall happiness. It's a feeling that is often contagious through others. Jana said, "Happiness to me is like feeling on top of the world and (you) can't find a single thing to tear you down. You're at a state of ease. I think people can't find it because they let a lot of things bother them and (they) can't seem to think anything is going well for them. That or simply depression. Unfortunately, it effects many people making it hard for them to be happy and find happiness. People can make others happy by checking on them, showing you care, being kind, showing appreciation for that person, smiling at them, and making them feel welcome and cared for. Also making someone laugh is a good way too! As well as being there for someone. Making sure they know you care for them and love them!"
Truthfully, we think there exists a lack of happiness coming from societal pressures. Too many people try to fit a mold that doesn't match their personality. If you're not your true self, how can you be truly happy. We asked Jana her opinion on the matter. She told us, "Social pressures really do effect people's happiness. I don't think it's fair that there is a specific standard everyone should have."
When we asked her about the Sunflower Movement she told us, "Seeing no change, I decided to create the movement to spread some love and let people know others care for them, including me. I started off passing out sunflowers as well as notes. The movement is about spreading kindness and making sure your peers are ok. I want to help save lives. This movement is close to me and I hope I can spread it as far as possible". You can check out her video about the Sunflower Movement below:
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Happiness. A Suicide Prevention short Video. I apologize for my voice. Unfortunately never was able to film specific clips for this but I managed to pull visuals out that matched the script. Let’s help save some lives! Spread this video around. My goal is to make at least one person feel better today. Spread love and Save Lives. #sunflowermovement 🌻❤️
She makes great meaning out of her work. "My photography is something that keeps me going and helps me out of some deep and dark thoughts. Using my photography I'd like the images to have purpose and create things that people like. Seeing a sunset maybe that'll make them feel happy or anything of the sort. I'd like to to tie in my photos with the movement but I haven't yet. I want to tell stories with my work for this movement and I hope I can get ideas soon".
You can check out the rest of her work at her instagram, @jana_rassool. When asked if there was anything else she'd like to add she told us, "Last thing I'd like to say is to always be kind to people and show love and appreciation towards them. Thank you for reading! Let's help save lives!"
If you know someone who is going through something, give them the time of day to tell them the things they need to hear. It is important that as a society we promote the idea of kindness towards others.