Welcome! My name is Stefania Buoni, I live in Italy and this is my blog. Why am I writing in English? Because my Wish is to create a huge change in the world and I need you.
In 2010 I started my journey as an advocate for "young carers", daughters and sons who, like me, have one or both parents suffering from a mental illness. I was feeling lonely and isolated, hopeless and powerless regarding my family situation. So I started looking for informations in other languages on the Internet (languages have always been my passion, one I inherited from my parents!) and on a Dutch forum (my mother is Dutch!) I finally found the stories of adult daughters and sons of parents with a mental illness who were sharing their difficult journey from pain to healing.
I started crying! For the first time in my life I finally knew I wasn't the only one... from that moment I started a long path towards reclaiming my own life and feeling better. The power of storytelling and of finding others with the same experience as mine made me decide to start my own peer support community in my country, Italy, where daughters and sons could help each other. In 2011 I created our first Facebook group and in 2012 I flew to Vancouver, in Canada, where I met other daughters and sons from U.S.A., France and Australia and together we spoke at a conference about our commitment to build up a better future for us and for our families, for all the families in the world.
On the 20th of November 2017, on World Children's Day, together with Gaia, Carlo and Marco we founded COMIP - Children Of Mentally ill Parents, Italy's first ngo created by and for young carers & daughters and sons of parents with mental ill health of all ages. Following Mahatma Gandhi's motto, "Be the Change you Wish to see in the World", we all act as Active Change Agents. We believe in building a culture of prevention and we aim to eradicate stigma surrounding mental health. No child, adolescent, young adult or adult, shall ever be left alone when his/her mother or father (or both) start suffering from a psychiatric disorder.
In october 2019 I stepped on a stage and delivered a powerful talk at TedxNapoli to raise awareness and bring about change. In december it has been published on You Tube and in january 2020 I translated subtitles in English to reach every daughter and son in the world and let them know they are not alone and there is hope!
I reached out to the Ted Translators community and asked for help to translate my talk in every possible language. By now 7 fantastic volunteers have already jumped on board to help me fulfil my Wish for Change. At the moment I am writing (02/04/2020) Portuguese/Brazilian subtitles have just been created and approved! Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, French, Hindi and Polish are on their way... and we won't stop until we change the world!
If you saw the video and liked it, please leave a comment here or write me at stefania.buoni[AT]comip-italia.org. I'd love to hear from you!
If my video helped you somehow and you would like to surprise me... all I ask is a postcard from you, a traditional paper postcard, with stamp and everything, from your country. Write #EndTheStigma on it and where you come from, along with a short message. Send it to:
CHILDREN OF MENTALLY ILL PARENTS - n.g.o.
Via Montefiorino 12/C
When I was a child I loved postcards so much and collected them... until the Internet made them almost disappear. But I still love the idea of a postcard travelling from afar and reaching me from another country or city... the handwriting on it... the fact that someone was thinking about me and sent me a physical proof of it. I'd love to create a Worlwide Wall of Love and Hope spreading from all over the planet. Thank you in advance from the bottom of my heart!
Oh, and if you wish to help me translating the video in your language, this is how you too can join the Fabulous Ted Translators Team:
And this is the link where you can see the languages that are still needed and apply for the translation task.
Another way you could help me reach as many daughters and sons as possible in the world is to share the video of my Tedx Talk, like it and comment it on YouTube. If you use the hashtags #EndTheStigma and #Comip on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter when you share, I will be able to see it and repost it to make our message even stronger. Thank you!!!
So... Let's start and change the world! This song's for you: