Mental Illness Should Never Be Trendy Thing

A friend sent over a post the other day that was shared by another well-meaning group in this MH space.

It was during Mental Illness Awareness Wk, & the msg was simple: “MI is NOT, the following things.” It then went on to list the things that it’s not, such as: “a choice, an excuse, always visible.” But amongst the list, the word “trend” came up, along w a graphic that symbolized something that looked eerily similar to the #SameHere sign (pinkie out, thumb out).

No clue if it was intentionally meant as a knock at this group here. Not blind to the fact that the ASL sign we use, when turned sideways is a pretty common global sign for “hang loose.” Whatever the case, it got me to thinking.

No, MI is NOT something that is or should be trendy. Unfortunately w the MH bubble blowing up, we do see a bunch of ppl w platforms getting into this space, taking advantage.

We see ppl share disorder labels before an album release…before a career is ending bc it leads to speaking engagements….as part of clothing lines that celebs partner on, to help push sales.  In these cases, no it shouldn’t be used as a trend – it takes something that so many struggle w, & tries to glorify it.

All that being said, we also CAN’T continue to treat the topic of mental HEALTH as if it’s defined BY MI, exclusively. 

This particular org I mentioned above, is named after a disorder, itself. Continuing to solely focus on disorder – when it comes to naming conventions & info shared, will not do for society what these orgs aim to do: “break the stigma.” Instead, they perpetuate the idea that MH is ONLY about MI, & in doing so, separate us as a society into 2 unique buckets – “the sick & the healthy.” When that’s done, there is no “breaking stigma.” Instead, that furthers the stigma.

The only way the stigma goes away, is to talk abt our similarities. What campaign did it for cancer? “Everyone knows someone effected.” EVERYONE. 

Not going to apologize for making MH & how we ALL live on a continuum, a trend. Instead gonna keep doubling down. The only way through, is together. If coming together is a trend, then happily guilty!

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