More than Illness

Murlo and Andep - Keely Stephenson

I am a mother of two who would like to become a cartoonist.

I have two main characters.

Murlo and Andep.

Two characters I have been developing on and off for around 16 years.

I have a lived experience with mental illness (I’m currently well and thriving), that has shaped my characters and their story.

I would like to share my personal story, and my characters with others through traditional physical media (newspaper/hard copy) as I don’t partake in social media.

I grew up in Gympie.

I would like to challenge the status quo on mental health and prove that it is possible to overcome obstacles and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I was once an exemplary, high achieving student who won awards for leadership, community participation and pride of workmanship.

Until, a sudden mental illness caused me to miss three months of school.

I was told I would fail year 12 and have to repeat.

The mental health team told me there was nothing they could do to help.

So, I dropped out of school.

Fifteen years later I am a happily married mother of two, with a selection of certificates and life experience to prove I’m more than a stigmatised health condition.

Mental illness effects one in five, but we all have mental health.

Keely Stephenson,

Banks Pocket.