With recent statistics suggesting that 1 in 4 people in the UK have a mental health illness of some kind, it is more important than ever that we do what we can to remove the stigma around these conditions. And I'm very excited to report that that is exactly what one woman, Kat Slewyn Layton from North Carolina has done. She has started a campaign on social media with a view to #endthestigma towards mental health, by creating badges that people can put onto their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Kat was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when she was 19 years old has written on Facebook: “I’ve made these with the intention of, as the hashtags say, ending the stigma of mental illnesses [and] other neurodivergent conditions (having a style of neurocognitive functioning that does not fall within the dominant societal standards of ‘normal’). Just because an illness is often invisible, it doesn’t mean your battle should go unrecognised.
“If someone is struggling with a mental illness and/or other neurodivergent condition they should feel comfortable reaching out, they should feel safe discussing it. Most importantly, they should know they’re not alone.”
Since December 30th, when she first posted to social media, the collection of badges has been shared more than 37,000 times on Facebook and Kat has since created a separate page called ‘End The Stigma’.
She most recently wrote on Facebook: “When I created a post with nine pictures and a message that I wanted to fight the stigma of mental illness, I never dreamed it would become what it has. Please continue your bravery. I have learned so much the past two days. I am still in a state of disbelief, and so proud of the strength so many are showing in order to #endthestigma.”
The badges are now being used on social media accounts all over the world with people deciding to #endthestigma surrounding their own mental health issues. I love this campaign, but more than that I love the reaction that this has had. So many people opening up about the struggles that they have had, sharing their experiences and finally, as Kat had hoped: ending the stigma.
Please check out the Facebook page for more information and remember to KEEP TALKING.
Love y'all xxx