Over the last few weeks,
I've dedicated every Wellness Wednesday post to Mental Health discussions, covering everything from my own story to ways to help yourself and ways to help others. But I couldn't let this mini-series end without also sharing a list of places where you can donate, volunteer, get assistance, get educated and just generally get more involved in helping raise mental health awareness. I've also rounded up a list of businesses that either give a portion of their proceeds to various mental health organizations, create products specifically for those with mental health struggles and are even run by people who have firsthand experience with mental health issues. I hope you'll check some of them out, continue the mental health discussion in your own lives, and, if you know of an organization or business that supports mental health awareness, and you don't see it on the list, please leave it in the comments. The more ways to help, the merrier we will all be!
NAMI // Th National Alliance on Mental Illness is the country's lager grassroots mental health organization, with local and state affiliates all across the country. They work to educate, advocate, listen and lead, through various programs, activities and volunteer opportunities. They also have a toll-free help line.
To Write Love on Her Arms // Focused specifically on providing hope for those who feel alone, hopeless, suicidal and depressed through programs and support
Project Semicolon // Focusing specifically on suicide prevention; you can share your story, get educated, get help, take action and/or show support
This is My Brave // Using storytelling, poetry and music, through live performance, to tell stories and experiences to help end the stigmas of mental health and mental health conversations
AFSP // American Foundation for Suicide Prevention raises awareness and funding and provides support and aid to those affected by suicide; there are lots of ways to get involved and volunteer, and there are chapters all across the country.
Mental Health America // They provide a vast amount of resources and ways to get involved through a large variety of programs, conferences, education, screenings, policy updates and ways to get help.
BBR Foundation // A foundation committed to the scientific research of mental illness, better understanding the causes and developing new ways to treat mental health issues; 100% of their donations for research go directly to research
Didi Hirsch (CA-based) // Providing mental health services, suicide prevention services, a hotline and a variety of other programs for those struggling
Fountain House (NY-based) // Providing a supportive community and opportunities to live, work and learn in order to help assist those struggling with mental health issues recover
Vibrant (NY-based) // Support, community, advocacy, programs, and education in the mental health space
Freedom from Fear (NY-based) // A treatment center for anxiety and mental health that provides free mental health screenings
Blurt It Out (England-based) //Focused specifically on awareness of and support for depression
jack.org (Canadian-based) // A network of young professionals creating initiatives and programs to support mental health awareness and help end stigmatizing around the topic
Black Dog Institute (Australian-based) // Working to provide education and support around mental health and suicide prevention
PRODUCTS + BUSINESSES
Therapy Threads // A fashion and wellness brand rooted in therapy and self-care that donates 10% of profits to mental health organizations (aka they are the true definition of retail therapy). You can shop for things like aromatherapy scarves, robes, candles and t-shirts, among other things, and they even run a self-care club to further spread their message of self-care as a means to overcoming mental health issues.
We Are Lions // A lifestyle brand that sells the works of artists with disabilities (proceeds from each sale go to support the artist who created it) while also giving back to various non-profits that support mental health and disabilities. I love that they support artists of all ages, races, sex and from all over the world. While you can shop by category, you also have the opportunity to shop by non-profit being support, art studio, by medium, and, of course, by artist (each artist's page includes a picture and details about them). The designs are so cool and I definitely have my eye on a few of the t-shirts and pillows.
The Depressed Cake Shop // This organization facilitates baked goods pop-ups around the world to get people talking about mental health. The proceeds from the baked goods sold at each pop-up are donated to a mental health charity local to wherever the pop-up is being held. Check their upcoming pop-ups page for one to attend near you, and check out their shop to purchases items that also give back to mental health charities.
Wear your Label // A rad clothing line started by two people with mental health issues of their own with the intention of erasing stigmas surrounding mental health as well as partnering with charities and mental health initiatives. I love the clean designs of all the products and that all the product labels not only give care instructions for the product but also care instructions for yourself. FYI, it looks like the company is currently changing ownership/management, so they're on a temporary break, but I liked their designs and and initiatives too much to not include them on this list.
BuddyBox // A subscription box from Blurt, an organization that works to increase awareness and understanding of depression. Think of it as a surprise present that will cheer you up, help with self-care, help you destress and make you feel loved and support. You can buy a one-off box, or a subscription, both perfect options for a gift to yourself or a friend or family member that maybe needs some cheering up (I know from personal experience, when I've been having particularly rough patches with my own mental health issues, one of the things that has really helped me is receiving a surprise box from a loved one. It reaches through the darkness and provides some joy and light like almost nothing else can.).
Hope Street Cards // Greeting cards specifically for those experiencing mental health conditions. Cards are created by a registered physiologist with a background and experience in mental health so each one is designed to educate and help through the specific informational sheets that come with each card. You can shop the cards by category (i.e. anxiety, depression, etc.). Also, a portion of the proceeds from each card goes back to organizations focused on helping those with mental health issues.
Schizophrenic.nyc // A line created by an NYC-based artist who struggles with schizophrenia. She is using her products to specifically drive awareness to and help with the NYC homeless who are mentally ill.