Mental health is a subject that we don’t discuss as often as we should. Millions of people suffer from some sort of mental illness or depression, and often times those who surround them don’t see their struggle. Toronto-based poet and spoken word artist Sabrina Benaim knows that feeling too well, sitting down with us for a frank, straight-forward discussion about that.
You don’t need a CV or a wikipedia page to know who Sabrina is. The moment she says hello, positivity fills the air. The humble Torontonian – in every sense of the description – has used the wonderful art of spoken word to bring about a powerful discussion about mental health. It all began when she performed her piece Explaining My Depression to My Mother live on stage, which has been seen over 5.7 million times at the time of this article. Her powerful words set into motion a journey in poetry.
She was a member of the Canadian championship-winning 2014 Toronto Poetry Slam team, and repped the City of Toronto in 2015 at the Women Of The World Poetry Slam. Her work has traveled far and wide, recently seen on television with Sport Chek and their third #WhatItTakes Olympic Manifesto Video.
Sabrina provides a very candid account of how the spoken word played a valuable role in her life, especially tackling mental health and other struggles she has faced. She provides insight on how she got into poetry, how it became a channel through which she can actually talk about what she was going through, and what she has learnt from the process that she hopes that others who also struggle can use to become better and happier. She also digs a little into her book, and why it was an important project for her.