Why do we seem to flaunt many of our physical health problems and conquests, by hide our mental ones? That is a question that the Mental Health League, an apparel company that supports a mental health organization, seeks to not only answer, but turn on its head and conquer.
Why do survivors of cancer wear shirts proudly declaring so, but we don't share surviving depression? Why do we have people sign our cast for a broken limb, but we can't share conquering anxiety? Why do we celebrate the steps made in physical therapy, but hide going to mental therapy?
In our society, battling and recovering from a physical ailment: disease, injury, accidents, is seen as a badge of honor but dealing with a mental ailment is met with shame. We need to change that stigma.
Mental Health League seeks to address the stigma of mental health and turn it into a way to be as supportive to it as we are to people battling physical health issues. They do so my providing a sports-themed way to wear your support of mental health in general, or Teams - specific mental health problems - and "come together, turn that shame into strength, and tackle mental health as a team." Each team has a mascot, colors, and mottos each chosen to help represent and motivate for its relevant issue.
The Teams include the Anxietees (with a manatee mascot) for anxiety disorders, the Foggy Dogs for depression and grief, the ADHBees for ADHD, Bipolar Bears for Bipolar, and they are working on 'Expansion Teams', more issues with their own team to represent.
You can get baseball hats and t-shirts representing a Team or the League in general. 50% of net profit is donated to Crisis Text Line, plus they have a plethora of support information on their web site under what they call the Playbook. Plus there is Free US shipping on orders over $40, and the online store always has always TEAM BOGO! Buy one, get any other one 35% off.
With all the sports vocabulary and imagery, this is all obviously focused towards men, which is a good thing. 20% of adults deal with mental health issues, but 60% won't seek out treatment, and men are especially prone to ignoring symptoms and getting help. More than 4 times as many men as women die by suicide.
I applaud the work being done by this company to turn around our perceptions of mental health.