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Daily Inspiration: Meet Josie Bullen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Josie Bullen.

Hi Josie, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I am from Fort Worth, TX. I grew up equally committed to my academics and training in dance. USC was my absolute dream school throughout high school, as it’s a place characterized by great academics and a host of fantastic opportunities and dedicated students. I was so excited to get in and be able to attend. I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do with my career, so I engaged myself in all types of courses and organizations to start the journey to find what I was really passionate about. During my sophomore year of college, I developed an eating disorder and went to intensive outpatient treatment for about two months. Although it was a difficult period of my life, I learned so much about myself and about how mental health is viewed and dealt with by American society. Meanwhile, at USC, I recognized that I was really enjoying my Communication and Cinema courses. I became particularly interested in how mental health conditions are portrayed in media, whether it be television, film, or digital content. While in recovery from my eating disorder, there weren’t really any films or pieces of media that I could send to my family to help them understand what was happening to me. So, my best friend Zoe Brown and I created a student organization called Mental Health Content Collective to figure out why mental health conditions are so rarely depicted in media and how we could increase the quality and quantity of representations. We launched with our first meeting in November and have since had two amazing events with guest speakers. MHCC brings together students, young professionals, and anyone who cares about mental health advocacy to help close the representation gap.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It has absolutely been a bumpy ride! Treatment for an eating disorder was not easy, but it was also such an amazing period of growth in my life. Furthermore, when starting MHCC, I had a lot of worries. Would other people care about this issue? Would our events gain traction or go unnoticed? Is the representation issue even valid? Tons of anxieties were racing through my head! Luckily, Zoe has been the best co-founder and we bounce ideas off each other super well.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
As of now, I am still a student at USC! I am graduating in May and hope to work as a production assistant or agency assistant. Down the road, I hope to be a producer of impactful films, including ones that have mental health themes and narratives. Until then, I will definitely still be involved in MHCC and work as much as I can in the mental health realm. Media representation is important, but I also want to continue educating myself on mental health policy work in the United States. There is not equal access to treatment at the current moment, and there is so much to be done to fix the crisis our country is dealing with.

What’s next?
I am looking forward to working in the entertainment business! I will be staying in Los Angeles after graduation and want to continue working on mental health representation and get more involved in policy work.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Headshot taken by Arden Jenkins (purchased by me) MHCC logo by me.

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