I've been passionate about psychology since my teens, but it wasn't until I went through the mental health system myself that I realized the depth of the system. This was a wake up call for me personally, and a motivator to dedicate my career to the field. This empathy drives the work I do everyday in my various roles a documentary filmmaker, social entrepreneur, advocate, and public speaker. My goal is to raise awareness, improve systems and policies, and make cinematic films about other people's stories of hardship and resilience. I have chosen to share my story openly as a personal challenge to myself, and to inspire others to reflect on their own. Here's my resume and board roles.

A little bit of backstory: 

"It started with a box of crayons". I experienced my crisis during college, and during hospitalization I began drawing with crayons. After I was discharged, I began sharing my story and auctioning my crayon drawings to raise money for youth suicide prevention programs. This led to raising thousands of dollars and the idea to start The Giving Gallery, an online art platform where artists can sell their art to support mental health charities.

Mental Health Filmmaking

I bought my first camera in 2012 and flew to England to visit Bedlam, the oldest psychiatric hospital in the world. This felt like a good place to begin my filmmaking journey. This culminated in my first film "A Global Mental Health Perspective". I then launched my filmmaking company Lipp Studios and began working with clients to help promote their treatment programs through storytelling.

Leadership

After I was discharged from the hospital I also became interested in mental health policy and leadership. At 19, I started volunteering for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) where I gave talks at local schools and raising money. I was then appointed to the CA Board of Directors, followed by NAMI National. This experience was challenging and inspiring; learning at a young age how to speak up and represent an issue that is both personal to me and also a public health issue.

Coming Out

Coming out as gay was - and is - a big part of my mental health. I now realize that my struggles growing up correlated with my struggles navigating my sexual orientation and identity. I came to learn that the likelihood of sexual minority death by suicide is estimated to be 2-7x times greater than heterosexual youth.This is why I believe mental health and LGBTQ are two sides of the same coin, and collaboration and research between the two is critically important.

Finding Balance

I feel most the most at peace when I'm rock climbing up a mountain, or descending down on my mountain bike. These more "extreme" activities serve as a counter-balance to the extremes of my own mind, and where I can simply have fun and meet like-minded people. It's a constant practice for me to find this balance and invest in myself as much as my work career.

View Resume and Board roles

Resume Board roles

Blogs

When We Listen and Engage, We Begin to See Change

When We Listen and Engage, We Begin to See Change

We all sat around the table, having met each other only moments before. There were 14 of us from states[...]

CALL TO MIND Spotlight on Rethinking Mental Health Care

America’s Fractured Mental Healthcare System Amidst the New Norm

About one in five US adults cannot afford the mental healthcare they need, a grim reality exacerbated by COVID-19 and[...]

Tiny Homes for Camp Fire Survivors | Amanda Lipp

How it started: Rebuilding Butte Short Documentary

When I first heard about the tiny home building project to help California fire survivors, I signed up to volunteer[...]

Drew

Drew’s Story With Schizophrenia

Drew was studying media and film at Bronx Community College when he first experienced the symptoms. He was hearing things[...]

Featured In

Speaking

Amanda shares her story from psychiatric hospitalization during college to becoming a social entrepreneur, documentary filmmaker, consultant, and speaker.

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Filmmaking

Amanda captures individuals stories from adversity to opportunity to promote mental health awareness and systems change. Amanda’s creative approach is grounded in social psychology, behavioral change, and systems change theories.

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Comic Books

Translating complex topics like mental health into engaging resources is challenging. Graphic storytelling is a powerful method that uses empathy to educate and inspire.

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The Giving Gallery

Amanda first had the idea for The Giving Gallery startup while she was a patient at a psychiatric hospital during college. She raised thousands of dollars for mental health nonprofits from auctioning the crayon drawings she made during her recovery. This evolved into a global online art gallery where artists can sell their art and share their story to fundraise for mental health nonprofits.

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Mental Health Innovation

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