The State Of Our Mental Health

No two experiences with mental illnesses are the same. It makes sense then that people suffering can feel lonely. The reality is: mental illnesses affect 1 in 4 of us, they do not discriminate, but the stigma still surrounding them does. There’s a lack of investment into fixing this issue. On average, only £8 will be spent annually on each person impacted by mental illness.

Photography: Flora Maclean / Refinery29

Photography: Flora Maclean / Refinery29

Though our understanding of mental illnesses has improved, the negative associations and general stigma remains. As a society and a nation, and for many other countries around the world, we are undergoing a huge movement. Minorities and oppressed communities are getting the recognition they deserve, their voices are being heard. The pride movement is loud and proud and women are breaking through so many barriers. But those who suffer from mental illnesses are still subject to negative public attitudes. This stigma acts as a hurdle. It makes it harder to find jobs, hold down relationships and be generally included in society. This in turn can worsen conditions and delay recovery.

David Keay, a member of the Mental Health Foundation for over 10 years found that in his experience with his own mental illness, people were – and still are – uncomfortable with “the language of madness”. To overcome the persevering stigma, we must embrace the reality of these illnesses. Keay’s goal is to create strong and effective voices for people directly affected by mental illnesses.

Photography: Flora Maclean / Refinery29

Mental health research receives only 5.8% of the annual public health research budget. A shockingly disproportionate amount when compared with the number of people affected. Recognising the importance of increasing awareness and working to remove social stigmas, we support YoungMinds in their fight to ensure that all young minds are supported and empowered. YoungMinds speak up for those who are shut out of the system and are striving to ensure that children and young people can get the best possible mental health support.

We have collaborated with artists Marshal Darling and Joshua Rush to create the designs below which aim to build further awareness and support mental health organisations. From each sale, 25% of the profits will be donated to Young Minds. These donations will support the work they do in providing support to our youth and empowering them to take on their futures, working to erase the stigma around mental health issues.