In our latest interview, written by the lovely Tara, we had the pleasure speaking to the founders of Revive. Revive is a mental health organization with a focus on destigmatizing mental illness, especially within BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and lower income communities. Sania and Jada discussed their business related backgrounds before Revive launched, how they balance running their page and staying on top of school, and more!
Question one: Hello everyone! I’m excited to speak with the founders and co-founder, Sania, Jada and Sai of Revive, a mental health organization with a focus on ‘destigmatizing mental illness, especially within BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and lower income communities’. Could you please tell us what inspired you to become entrepreneurs and start this initiative?
When was Revive established?
All three of us have always had a drive for advocating change, especially mental health and related topics because they hit home for us. Sania was actually the head of marketing at an organization that focuses on bone marrow transplants and an ambassador at an organization that focuses on making kindness cards for frontline workers and we feel like seeing the impact of those organizations on the community sparked something in us. Since all three of us related to mental health, we decided to start an organization around that topic. Jada and Sania both took a few business courses in the past and put them to use when organizing Revive. We officially started on September 9th, 2020 so it's been a little over a month now.
Question two: What type of content do you push out and how do you come up with your own graphic designs/projects?
Content wise, our amazing graphics team puts everything together that our organization does (i.e. blogs, interviews, etc) and showcases it on our Instagram page. As mentioned before, it's only been a little over a month since we've started and it's been only a few weeks since we "rebranded" and reorganized our goal and overall mission. Therefore, we HOPE to push out more content that raises awareness of mental health and related issues so that it can ultimately normalize the conversation around it and in a way, de-stigmatize.
Question three: In introducing your organization to us, you’d mentioned that all of you are currently juniors in high-school. How do you balance running Revive and completing schoolwork? Do you have a schedule to keep organized?
It's been tough balancing both, we aren't going to lie. Especially with the SAT season nearing and since two of us have internships, we've had to resort to pulling all nighters some nights. We actually started out with a group of 5 people and we lost 2 amazing teammates due to commitment issues and time management because of school. Honestly, if we didn't have a virtual option for school we don't even think it would be humanly possibly for us to start Revive or any non-school organization. We have no regrets though and over time we did learn to balance school, Revive and our personal life.
Question four:. Why is mental health the focus on your page? If comfortable sharing, did any personal experience influence the drive you have for advocating?
As we mentioned before, mental health hits home for all three of us. Like it does for most of the world. To make it clear, not one of us have a clinically diagnosed mental condition and for that very reason we have been disregarded many times. That's exactly what we want to show people. You story isn't invalid just because you don't have a diagnosed illness. Nobody's story is negligible. We needed someone to tell us that but nobody did. All they told us was that it was just a bad day or maybe it was just that time of month or that after we each graduate high school and get a good paying job, none of our problems will matter anymore. And we believed that like many do. We don't want to shower people with toxic positivity and give them fake hope, we want to give them real hope. In todays world, mental illness is beyond romatizised and sensationalized. We want to show people that their story matters.
Question five: Do you accept volunteers? If so, what are the requirements and process to apply?
We do accept volunteers! We call them our "members" and all one has to do to become a member is click the link in our bio and choose the third option (aka join our member Google Classroom) ! If members want to recieve volunteer hours, they would have to fill in a form.
Question six: What are some other mental health/mindfulness pages you’d recommend people to follow?
Any pages that are reliable honestly. Such as the @thedepressionproject. Following actual mental health or medical professionals in a great idea that sometimes comes with self diagnosing, which is something we would never encourage. We would recommend staying away from pages which are too insanely positive or too sad. Positive pages usually show that you shouldn't be sad, and that's how it's supposed to be. If you are always happy and rarely have sadness to balance it out then that's a mental health issue right there. Sounds great to always be happy but if you think critically, it really isn't. Therefore, we would recommened pages that show that balanace and focus on motivating rather than obstructing.
Question seven:. What have been your greatest accomplishments so far?
We've actually just started our first event a few days ago. We have a different event every month and this month we chose to create kindness cards for our collaborating organizations to send to mental health facilities/rehab centers and to orphanages for encouragement. Our greatest accomplishment right now has been getting ourselves organized, to be completely honest. We've gotten 40+ ambassadors from all over the world, 25+ people on the team and 65+ members/volunteers within one month of starting. We hope to start helping the community more and will one day for sure have a better greatest accomplishment, which we hope will be getting more peoples stories heard from all over the world.
Question eight:. What are your goals for the future of Revive?
Our overall goal is simple really. It's just to get peoples stories heard from all over the world. From that we have a dream, which is to normalize the conversation around mental illness and destigmatize it in many global communities. Maybe one day we can turn that dream into a vision.
Question nine:. How do you promote your work and garner lasting recognition?
To be honest, we could care less about the recognition. We want to market our cause not our name or brand. That's why we focused Revive on a topic that is already used by so many other, bigger, globally recognized organizations. They aren't our rivals, they are our allies. We've been doing a few interviews, such as this one, here and there in attempt to promote our cause and get more people to either become an ambassador our a member. We have a marketing team who network and recruit ambassadors and ambassadors recruit members.
Question ten: What advice would you give to teenagers who are still in search of outlets like Revive that provide credible, interesting resources in regards to mental health?
Being teenagers ourselves and looking for outlets in the past as well allows us to understand the concerns surrounding that. Not everything you see on social media is credible and real. We have a research team that has to provide us with citations for the blog posts. Other than the research and blog, we just focus on personal stories that people send to us. We actually just started @revivechronicles, which allows people to send in their story using a variety of different mediums. We hope that by sharing real stories we can get people to realize how normal it is to not be normal.
Question eleven: Who are your favorite icons that advocate for mental health/illness awareness in BIPOC or LGBTQ+ demographics?
We've always looked up to Demi Lovato, who is a part of the LGBTQ+ community and has always been very vocal about her own mental health. We remember watching her documentary, called Simply Complicated, and hearing her talk so openly about being bipolar shocked us back then. And it was 2017. The fact that mental health is so stigmatized that only three years ago we thought that celebrities talking so openly about their mental health would ruin their career and reputation is so crazy. Society has shamed mental health patients and it's so great to see famous celebrities and influencers hitting on the topic and trying to normalize it.
Question twelve: Lastly, I’d love to thank you for engaging with our organization and sharing the incredible work of yours! Is there anything else you’d like to add before we wrap up?
Some other famous people we admire who are very vocal about said topic are Selena Gomez, Cara Delevinge, Angel Haze, (the late) Lil Peep, and so many others.