my name is Ben Harthun
and I'm a visual designer, photographer and avid corgi enthusiast based out of Seattle

Meeresvøgel Magazine Vol II

Meeresvøgel is a nonprofit creative project with the goal of invoking hopefulness and inspiring others to be more creative, introspective, and active with their surroundings. “We strive to help others reflect and to push through the darkness that creeps into the light of our daily lives, highlight perseverance, and feature the benefits of wondering as a positive experience. There’s more light in the surrounding of your life than you may think. Slow down. Breathe in. Notice life in everything.

The book was originally created back in 2014 to combine travel photos, writing and journaling as a personal reminder to persevere. Over the years, we continued to explore this idea through places traveled, finding ways to push the design, the writing, and how it could possibly be digestible to a wider audience. It was first created so it could lend hope when things felt hopeless, slow-down when life felt it was going too fast, and help others gain new perspective. So here we are, and I think you’ll enjoy how far we’ve come.

We’re a little different than your average publication. Meeresvøgel is a small 6×8, 90-page book that you can bring with you conveniently, take notes, and reach out to us with your writings and get involved in making a second publication.

The issue:
As mental health becomes more of a transparent issue, it’s still stigmatized and pushed under the rug as a taboo topic. Yet 44 million people suffer from a mental illness (anxiety, depression) in the US alone (almost 1 in 5 Americans) and yet no one talks about it. Twenty-percent of your co-workers, your loved ones, the people you know around you are possibly and likely dealing with things they don’t talk about because of this ongoing stigma.

So where does Meeresvøgel come into this?
In conjunction with the month of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, and as a continued effort to push the topic of Mental Health towards ubiquity, we donated 100% of our net-profits to The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

NAMI in their own words:

We educate. Offered in thousands of communities across the United States through NAMI State Organizations and NAMI Affiliates, our education programs ensure hundreds of thousands of families, individuals and educators get the support and information they need.

We advocate. NAMI shapes national public policy for people with mental illness and their families and provides volunteer leaders with the tools, resources and skills necessary to save mental health in all states.

We listen. Our toll-free NAMI HelpLine allows us to respond personally to hundreds of thousands of requests each year, providing free referral, information and support—a much-needed lifeline for many.

We lead. Public awareness events and activities, including Mental Illness Awareness Week and NAMIWalks, successfully fight stigma and encourage understanding. NAMI works with reporters on a daily basis to make sure our country understands how important mental health is.

You can learn more at www.nami.org/