TODAY is the day MOSS FOLK has launched its website into the world. With three interviews already up make sure to head on over to read the stories of three wonderful women, (trigger warning: some articles contain references to suicide and self-harm).
Moss Folk exists as a community service, providing support to those suffering with mental health but everyone is welcome, “built on the principles of community, creativity and open and honest communication,” expect to see stories, journeys, personal experiences, workshops and events.
Run by Sam Moss, a 23-year-old juggling her own life, she has taken the time to create a safe space for others to “connect, share, create and heal,” in response to having dealt with mental illness herself.
I can honestly say that Moss Folk has already wrapped me up in its arms and comforted me, popping up at a time in my life when I needed that extra boost of comfort and inspiration.
Read the interview below to hear about Sam's personal experience with mental health, advice for those suffering and supporting, the importance of human interaction and what's in store for Moss Folk.
Hi Sam, how is 2018 treating you?
Hi!! 2018 so far has been very overwhelming but in the best possible way.
What are you currently doing?
I recently quit my 9-5 retail job to study Art Therapy and launch my business, Mossfolk. I am currently trying to juggle my studies and plan workshops and events.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Samantha Moss, I am a 23 years old country gal living in Melbourne. I love arts & crafts, op shopping, 80’s films and most importantly my cat Marcie!
And Introducing MOSS FOLK to the world, where did the name derive from and for those who don’t know, why did you start Moss Folk?
Mossfolk originated as a direct result of my personal experience with mental illness. After struggling through quite a severe depression I came out the other side wanting to not only have survived but to be able to use my experience to help others going through similar situations. Mossfolk is a community for people with mental illness created by someone with mental illness (me) and I wanted the name to reflect that.
From personal experience juggling work-life, social-life and me-time, how are you finding it all? And do you have any advice for those in similar positions?
To be honest I am still figuring out how to balance everything currently going on in my life. For me the best way to stay on top of everything is to schedule my weeks, days and even hours. I am really not in a position to give advice on this topic (if anything I need advice!) but I would encourage taking time out for regular self-care, whatever that may be for you. I think that “work/life balance” is an unattainable concept put on women and really we can just do the best we can and be kind to ourselves.
Focusing on Mental Health which you have been dealing with, can you share a little bit about your own personal experience?
I was diagnosed with depression and generalised anxiety in 2015. I went through a really tough couple of years during which I completely isolated myself and struggled to do day to day things. I now consider myself mostly recovered thanks to a combination of medication, making healthy lifestyle choices, or trying to, and therapy. However, I still have ups and downs, good days and bad days.
I can already tell that Moss Folk is going to be a great network of support from your existing Instagram posts. Can you share with us how you aim to provide support?
Mossfolk will provide holistic workshops centered around improving mental health. Through our workshops and events, I aim to provide a safe, nurturing space that encourages open communication, creativity as an outlet and the healing effects of nature. The workshops and events will vary in content such as arts & crafts, movement, nutrition, discussions etc. Mossfolk will also provide a sense of community and social connection to those who may be feeling lonely or isolated.
Can you share a few tips/advice on self-care for those suffering with mental illness?
For me self-care is all about being kind to yourself and putting your mental health first. Self-care is different for each individual and it’s important to understand what you need to nurture your mental health. For example, I have come to understand that every now and then I need to slow my life down and I have come to terms with that. I believe that self-care is perfectly summarised in artist Frances Cannons Self Love Club rules “You must always show yourself respect, love, forgiveness and understanding. You must show each other respect, love forgiveness and understanding. You must be kind to your body and you must take care of your mental health.”
And for those that support the ones dealing with mental health?
I have not only suffered from mental illness myself but have had numerous friends and family members around me suffer. When supporting loved ones with mental illness it is important to remember that the recovery process is different for everyone and it is important to come from a place of patience and kindness. However, a lesson I have learnt the hard way is that you can only help people who are willing to help themselves. My advice would be to encourage them to seek professional help and be there to support them through that process.
I LOVE and appreciate that you’re running holistic workshops and events (keep your eyes peeled everyone), when is the next workshop/event and what can we expect these to involve?
Thank you! Our next event will be a collaging workshop held on March 25th which has unfortunately sold out. We are currently planning workshops based around yoga & dance, nutrition, floristry, weaving and many other craft activities. So keep an eye on our social media for more info!
What are your future goals personally and for Moss Folk?
My short term goals for Mossfolk are to hold as many creative workshops and events as possible, and to collaborate with other creatives and local businesses. Long term I would love to have a permanent space for Mossfolk in Melbourne and to hold workshops and events interstate. My personal goals are to stay on top of my mental health, complete my Art Therapy studies and to enjoy the many wonderful things currently happening in my life.
Your view on the Importance of human interaction.
Human interaction is incredibly important in promoting good mental health. Human connection and social interaction actually calms the nervous system. Something as small as making eye contact with someone, a comforting physical touch or or having a quick phone conversation with with a friend can change your state from negative to positive. Human beings thrive in communities, however these days’ loneliness and isolation is very common. With Mossfolk I hope to create a community who support and encourage each other.
Any final words?
Just that the current success of Mossfolk was very unexpected so thank you to everyone who has shown me support and love xx