Satsi Naziel, artist and student from Coast Mountain College’s (CMTN) Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art created the latest logo for their mental health campaign End Stigma.
CMTN launched End Stigma this month to normalize conversations surrounding mental health and Naziel’s design was chosen through a contest that saw submissions come in from all over northwest B.C.
Naziel, a two-spirited artist of Wet’suwet’en and Chilean descent who has been adopted into the Gilseh’yu (Big Frog Clan), created the art logo while in hospital recovering from a mental health crisis.
“This design means a lot to me because I did it at a time where my mental health really did matter… And breaking that stigma was a really big thing for myself,” Naziel said in CMTN statement.
T-shirts, tote bags and stickers with the campaign logo, which features Naziel’s design with the words ‘End the Stigma, Mental Health Matters’ wrapped around it, are being distributed to students for free to help get the message out.
Naziel says they battled with depression and anxiety as a child, then schizophrenia at age 19 and was most recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Their design represents a long journey with mental health, with every element signifying a different aspect of themself.
Naziel says they have been creating art since they could hold a crayon. They learned the basic craftsmanship of northwest coast art first from their father, then began creating their own designs as a teenager and further as an art student at CMTN.
For them, having their artwork chosen to be the face of the End Stigma campaign has brought them great pride to see the logo worn by so many people across the region.
“It makes me feel so great — like I came through as an artist, and to have my personal story and my own self characteristic to help break the stigma with mental health,” Naziel adds.