May is Mental Health Awareness Month!
There are 51.5 million (in 2019) adult Americans who experience mental illness, which equals to nearly 1 in 5 adults. These mental illnesses include, but definitely are not limited to: Anxiety, Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizophrenia, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
With this merchandise, I am using my passion for graphic design to bring awareness to mental health. My goal of this campaign is to send two messages for everyone reading this post and those who will read these shirts as you wear them.
(1) To those of you who struggle with mental illness, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! As I stated above, nearly 1 in 5 Americans have to fight for their mental health and are going through the same struggles. There are also many people who are fighting with you that have never experienced mental illness themselves. YOU ARE ENOUGH! Your worth and value is not defined by your struggles. YOU ARE LOVED! There is a large community of people who are willing to listen and help you in any way that they can. So don’t give up hope because we are all fighting for mental health and against its stigma.
(2) To those of you who know someone who struggles with mental illness, although these shirts are for everyone, I designed them with you in mind. I have heard people say, “I want to help, but I just don’t know how.” To put it simply, support your loved one. Be there for them, encourage them, and listen to them. There unfortunately is a stigma to mental illness and seeking help. On top of everything else your loved one is going through, they also have to deal with this stigma. It adds to their stress and oftentimes deferrs people from getting the help they need because they do not want to be treated differently or looked down upon. Your loved one is not weak, abnormal, incompetent, or a failure. In fact, they are some of the strongest people because they are fighting a battle that is not visible.
Together, I believe we can make a difference in the world by spreading awareness and showing support. Let us all fight the stigma and fight for mental health, one shirt at a time!