The Mental What?
Meet the Founder
Miana Bryant is a graduate from East Carolina University obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminal Justice May of 2018. Her passion for mental health stemmed from her own personal battles with depression and anxiety throughout her adolescence. Though wounded, Miana turned her pain into ‘The Mental Elephant” in order to reach other people around the globe that battle the same problems. She is the sole founder and currently, operates all online outlets as the only editor. Aside from online work, she is also the President of The Mental Elephant Organization on her college campus, with a 5 member executive board, and an estimated 150 herd members. In addition, Ms.Bryant has a 3.4 major GPA, received The 2017-2018 NAACP Black Excellence; Black Girl Magic Award, and is an inducted member of The National Society of Leadership and Success. She intends to pursue her Masters and PhD in Forensic Psychology, and work to become a Criminal Psychologist by 2026.
She would like to acknowledge Daniel Spellman Jr, for pushing her to share her story, and inspiring her to be great. More so, she thanks her parents Michael and Angela Bryant, as well as her older sister Michea Bryant for everything they have done.
View Ms.Bryant's WNCT Channel 9 interview here
What is The Mental Elephant?
The Mental Elephant is a series of outlets used to promote mental health across the country. “The Mental Elephant” is a non-profit organization ran by Miana Bryant that holds events focused on promoting positive mental health and offers support groups for young adults with mental disorders. In like manner, thementalelephant.com provides interactive tools, resources, and materials to the community in order to promote awareness of mental illnesses. Finally, our YouTube channel #HaveYouHerdTV is a roundtable web series based not only on mental health issues, but also behind the scenes videos, interviews with different people, and group discussions of hot topics. Offline, TME volunteers throughout the Greenville, NC community, hosts and collaborates with various organizations, clinics, and businesses.
The Mental Elephant received the 2017 NAACP Black Excellence Organization of the Year Award, as well as The East Carolina University A.L.A.N.A Emerging Leadership Award. Go Elephants!
Why did you start The Mental Elephant?
The Mental Elephant started when I was a freshman in college going through a very tough breakup, and being away from home. I remember sitting in my dorm room at 5 in the morning turning on Criminal Minds and watching it until almost 11 pm that night. I never ate, I never talked to anyone, I completely shut down and could only give myself enough energy to click “continue watching”. The next day I forced myself to the Student Health Service Center on campus and was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. After being put on medication, I began to feel better but still alone and very lost on my diagnosis. That is specifically when I decided to form a group of students that have also been diagnosed and would love some support and guidance just like me. The original idea was a simple group chat but after I had one idea and discussed it with my mentor at the time, Daniel Spellman, it developed into an entire organization that can spread awareness of disorders, and give students resources and access to treatment. I gathered a few of my friends and pitched them the idea, once they said it sounded amazing I hit the ground running and never looked back. Now two years later we are still going strong and fulfilling our purpose.