Interview by Anna-Claire McGrath
Bethany Rose Lamont is the founder and editor-in-chief of Doll Hospital, a biannual art and literature print journal on mental health. The first issue, backed by Kickstarter, was released in February 2015. Issue three comes out this August.
THE FEM: Tell me a little bit about Doll Hospital for our readers. What is it, how did it come about?
BETHANY ROSE: Doll Hospital is an art and literature journal for and by people with mental health struggles. It’s not just for those of us with fancy liberal art degrees or some kind of “established” art or writing career or whatever. It’s a space for everyone who has a difficult time with mental health to share their story in whatever medium they feel most comfortable expressing themselves in.
I founded Doll Hospital in May 2014, I was a 22 year old student and struggling with thoughts of suicide. I had no place to express these always overwhelming, and sometime terrifying, thoughts and found myself reduced to self deprecating tweets and 3am shitposting on tumblr. I’m 25 now, Doll Hospital has turned two years old and we’ve just completed our third issue. I of course still have mental health struggles (those things don’t miraculously disappear sadly!) but in cultivating a space to safely express myself and seek out a community with others who are also grappling with these issues, I feel more confident in managing my own mental illness, less ashamed to actively express when I’m having a bad day and more emboldened to advocate for myself and for my loved ones.