If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand – shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. Matthew 5:15-16 (MSG)
Meet Dior Vargas | Mental Health Activist
Tell us a little about your website/mission/ministry.
I’m a Latina Feminist Mental Health Activist. I started the People of Color and Mental Illness Photo Project to diversify the media representation of mental illness. I travel around the country sharing my personal story with depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. I talk about the unique stigmas and disparities in treatment affecting communities of color. I want my community to feel able to prioritize mental health so that we can thrive, no longer feel isolated & alone, and take better care of ourselves.
What is the number one thing on your bucket list? Will you do it?
To completely revolutionize mental health in communities of color. I’m working on it.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell her to hold on. That all of this pain is worth it and will lead to many amazing things. You are loved. You’ll always wonder why you’re here, why you’re still alive – you’ll get your answer soon enough.
If you could change anything about the world we live in now, what would it be and why?
End racism, classism, sexism, xenophobia, transphobia, white supremacy, etc. It’s pretty self-explanatory.
If you could spend an evening with any fictional character, who would it be? What would you do?
There is no need to want to spend an evening with a fictional character because there are real life people doing incredible work and it would be amazing to share a space with them. A woman of color for sure. Besides that, I don’t know.
I’ve included you because I believe you are bringing much-needed light to this world. Why do you do what you do? What keeps you going every day?
I do what I do because I would feel like what I’ve gone through and what others have gone through was for no reason. I won’t feel like I used my time on this earth wisely. I have privileges that can help others and I don’t want to waste them. That’s the only way I will feel fulfilled. My loved ones keep me going. The injustices in the world keep me going. The idea of overcoming pain keeps me going.