Having suffered as a child with mental health issues, photographer, Emily Kornya decided that she would like to help raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing in children. YourMomCares, is set up by celebrity and influencer moms and helps the most vulnerable children by raising awareness and funding for organizations focused on children’s mental wellness.
Emily came across the YMC’s charity on Instagram and after making contact and speaking with the co-founder, Sharon Feldstein, Emily decided that she would love to explore opportunities with the charity and through her work create photoshoots with the hope that the experience would help children gain more confidence.
Scroll down to view a Q & A with Emily Kornya who initiated the collaboration with YourMomCares.
Q & A With Emily Kornya
JS: How did you become involved with YourMomCares?
EK: I found the charity on Instagram through one of the models I follow. I wanted to explore opportunities to help raise awareness of kid’s mental health due to my own issues as a child. We see organizations for Teens, which is great, but many younger kids struggle too and this is not always visible. I was really interested in getting involved in Your Mom Cares, as I had never heard of a charity or organization which was dedicated to kid’s mental health and I love their initiatives.
JS: Why did you decide to take on this project?
EK: YMC is personal to me as when I was nearly 14 years old, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). In my case, I was very fortunate as my parents were very supportive and dedicated to my recovery and wellness, and they also had the resources and knowledge to source an amazing Psychotherapist and into see a Psychologist. After lots of hard work and training in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, very quickly I was able to control my anxiety and OCD thoughts. With the tools that I learnt from my Therapist (and with my parent’s relentless assistance), I have been able to lead a successful and productive life. I was also personally very fortunate to have a great school, with teachers who understood mental health, and who even had some special resources in place for kids like me.
Sadly, I know that most children are not as lucky as I am, and if my parents didn’t have the resources to help me, it may have been months before I saw a therapist or was evaluated for medication, and when you are struggling mentally, you simply can’t wait.
JS: What do you hope to achieve from the project with YMC?
EK: All of the models have disabilities & differences which for one reason or another naturally impacts on their mental health. Through the photoshoot in London with YMC co-founder Sharon Feldstein, (Mother of actors Jonah Hill and Beanie Feldstein) we hope to raise awareness about mental health in children and promote mental wellness.
One way to promote this is to talk openly to family, friends, teachers etc about how and what you feel. I never felt comfortable/never told any friends about my experience with mental illness in high school. I only started to come out of my self and talk about it when I was 18 and attending Univerity, yet I was still very selective at who I discussed Mental health issues with. No one in high school ever told me they had this kind of experience either, however, I’m sure many did. It would have helped to be able to talk to some kids my own age about how I felt and what I experienced.
There were some incredible, strong and inspiring kids that took part in the shoot and during the day they actually told their stories and talked to each other as well as talking with Sharon and I. Hopefully, one day there will not be a stigma around mental health/illness and children will have full access to the help they need and also can feel confident to talk to others about how they feel.
Sharon is an incredible warm-hearted and enthusiastic person and so creative. We hope to come back and see the kids we shot recently in London and follow up with them and also potentially go to other cities and do the same thing.
JS: What type of impact has the project had on the children that took part in the shoot?
EK: The shoot has already had a big impact on some of the models from my discussions with their parents and the agents. The children have gained a lot of confidence. One boy (Elijah) told his Mom he felt so special and Mia whois usually quiet at school, has been more outgoing this week, her teacher has even noticed this.
Your Mom Cares Collaborates With Emily Kornya Crew Credits:
Photography: Emily Kornya. Follow Emily on Instagram here.
Styling: Sharon Feldstein
Model Credits: MIA @ Zebedee Management @miahallows_zebedee, ELIJAH @ Zebedee Management @everyone_loves_elijah, LOUIE @ Urban Angels, ZAHN @ Zebedee Management, ISABELLE @ Tiny Angels @isabelle_lavinia_mckenzie, BECCA @lottiebex750 @ Zebedee Management
Clothing: Loud Apparel, Wauw Capow, Paade Mode, Kisse, Boboli
To find out more about the work of Your Mom Cares and to get involved click here.
View more of Emily Kornya’s work on Junior Style here.
Your Mom Cares Photography by Emily Kornya – All rights reserved
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