PRISM Project VTuber Rita Kamishiro Named Ambassador for National Alliance on Mental Illness
posted on by Kim Morrissy
Sony Music Entertainment's Virtual YouTuber PRISM Project announced on Wednesday that the United States-based National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has appointed performer Rita Kamishiro as a virtual creator Ambassador.
Kamishiro raised over US$10,000 for NAMI during her first charity stream hosted on May 14 during Mental Health Awareness Month. She raised an additional US$4,000 on her second charity stream on October 7 during Mental Illness Awareness Week.
Kamishiro cares deeply about mental health awareness, often talking to her audience about her experiences. "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. I hope that by sharing my experiences and nurturing a positive, open-minded community, others will feel empowered to inspire change around them," she commented. "Becoming a NAMI ambassador is my commitment to giving back the kindness, patience, and grace that others have shown me in my life."
In recent years, mental health awareness and the impact of online harassment have become critical issues for content creators. According to a recent multilingual survey, people with female-presenting virtual avatars are particularly at risk of sexual harassment.
"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. Social media can be a powerful tool for lifting one another up, but only if we have a healthy relationship with it," Kamishiro said.
Online harassment has gained significant media attention since the death of wrestler and reality TV star Hana Kimura to suicide in May 2020. Private businesses, including Bushiroad and NIJISANJI, have also launched anti-harassment initiatives in the wake of the tragic incident. Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) runs the #NoHeartNoSNS anti-online harassment campaign.
NAMI is the largest grassroots mental health organization in the United States. It defines ambassadors as "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."
The PRISM Project first launched in January 2021. All agents are signed to Sony Music talent management contracts. The existing talent roster includes Iku Hoshifuri, Aoi Tokimori, Meno Ibuki, Rita Kamishiro, Luto Araka, Shiki Miyoshino, Nia Suzune, Yura Rikudou, Pina Pengin, Naki Kamizuki, Sara Nagare, and Non Anon.
The project's Japanese-speaking equivalent, VEE Project, debuted its first wave of talent in May.
Source: Press Release