Virtual YouTubers can do all sorts of things these days, and that includes helping people. VTuber Rita Kamishiro, of Sony’s PRISM Project, is going to be a virtual creator Ambassador for National Alliance on Mental Illness (a.k.a. NAMI).
Part of what’s cool about this is that NAMI is an American group, so it’s showing how far Japanese pop culture is reaching into the American mainstream.
“Through my platform, I want to encourage others to be everyday heroes not only for their community and loved ones but for themselves as well,” Kamishiro declared. “I hope that by sharing my experiences and nurturing a positive, open-minded community, others will feel empowered to inspire change around them. Becoming a NAMI ambassador is my commitment to giving back the kindness, patience, and grace that others have shown me in my life.”
Kamishiro has previously raised money for NAMI. Last May (Mental Health Awareness Month), her charity stream brought in more than $10,000. Then in October (for Mental Illness Awareness Week), she held a second charity stream. This time she earned $4,000 for NAMI.
Dealing with COVID for the past two years has had an impact on many people’s mental health. Likewise, being harassed online can impact a person’s mental health, and a recent survey showed how common harassment on virtual reality is, especially toward women or anyone who has a female avatar.
“As the internet continues to be a prevalent part of our lives, we need to be mindful of its impact on us, and vice versa,” the Virtual YouTuber remarked. “Social media can be a powerful tool for lifting one another up, but only if we have a healthy relationship with it.”
NAMI says its ambassadors are “influencers in the entertainment industry, sports, literature, music, and the arts. They are powerful partners who educate, advocate and fundraise, using their platforms and personality to help expand a national mental health movement that builds better lives.”
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.