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The White T-Shirt Campaign: Why we’re talking about mental health

The White T-Shirt Campaign by Gracie Sodzi
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Guest Writer at Quiet Connections
Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool you have. Our shared stories create connection. They tell us it's ok to be vulnerable; to talk about our perceived flaws and ask for help when we need it. So we invite people who have felt socially anxious, shy and not good enough to share their stories so you know you're not alone.
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Today is World Mental Health Day and we’re getting behind fellow social entrepreneur and lovely new friend of QC, Gracie Sodzi and her White T-Shirt Campaign launched to raise awareness of mental health issues and to promote positive well-being; inspiring, motivating and encouraging through the sharing of stories. Find out more about Gracie and her mission over at WhiteTshirtCampaign.com Gracie wrote this post to share why this campaign is so important.

If you haven’t heard already, it’s World Mental Health Day on 10th October. This is a key event for us, because mental health is at the core of what we do. And so, we took a moment to sit back, reflect, and explain in an informative way, exactly why we do what we do.

Researchers have determined that at least half of all mental health disorders appear by the age of 14 and about 75% by age 24. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation states that ‘serious mental illness incurs huge personal, social and economic costs…. Early detection and intervention can help reduce the toll of serious mental illnesses.’ We want to raise awareness because in order for early detection and intervention to be made, conversations need to start earlier. If talking about your mental health becomes normalised, this will naturally happen.

It’s estimated that 50% of people with a mental health disorder currently lack early access to care, prolonging the lifetime and impact of their illness. Acting early is key. If we’re able to equip ourselves with the self-awareness and knowledge we need, mental health issues are much less likely to develop into illnesses. At the minute, a lot of people have to get to the extreme cases of mental illnesses to get help; it’s just not on. We need to think back to the very start and invest time and money into preventative education.

We’re also talking about mental health to put a positive spin on it, because we believe there is always hope. Nailing it and having good mental health can have such a positive effect on your life. You are not alone and you’re not a hopeless case. There are plenty of things you can do to help yourself start to regain your balance and feel more positive, energetic and hopeful again.

That being said, this week we have launched our first t-shirt (see picture above). We want this to be a reminder that there is always hope. Good mental health is hope. We want this T-shirt to be a light to anyone who is feeling hope-less; for it to be a sign to say ‘we’re here, we understand; you got this, power on through.’ All profits from the t-shirts will go towards making a difference in the lives of people who need it – this is currently through funding activities for a peer support group within Falmouth University.

If you’d like to support our work and share the message you can purchase one here and at blink in Falmouth, Cornwall.

All statistics and facts have been taken from the report the World Federation For Mental Health released this year which you can find here.

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