Last year I attended Mental Health Without Borders project in Tallinn and here’s my attempt to summarize the overall experience as well as its impact on my life. The year 2022 was transformational for me, I quit my job and left university, and somehow ended up on another side of the planet working as a video editor without any knowledge or experience. It’s freeing when you give up on life that you know makes you unhappy. But it is scary at first. Erasmus+ project and MHWB helped me to muscle up and gave me the courage to find a new path and most importantly realize that we are all mad here and it’s actually okay.

Sometimes when you don’t know what to do with yourself you end up in crazy places. I lived in Tallinn with 20 strangers from 5 countries for a week. In these 7 days; we have gained various insights into the topic of mental health from the institutional level in different countries, were guests in NGO Clubhouse Tallinn, which helped mentally challenged people find their place in society, learned various tools to keep ourselves mentally fit, explored the culinary, technological, and architectural wonders of Tallinn, and last but not least built trust within the group, which enabled us to share personal stories.

Erasmus+ projects are places where magic can happen, in one moment you’re teaching a Czech traditional dance, and in another, you’re indulging in guided meditation, one day you’re testing Finnish food and the next you’re crashing a random Estonian sunset party with Serbians and a Canadian. You’re exposed to a new environment, new people, ideas, and learning in every moment and as a result, you might as well find new parts of yourself. Maybe one that is a little bolder, more vulnerable, or just a tiny bit happier.

Vo Tu Anh