Why are we comfortable taking a sick day when we have the flu, but go to great lengths to hide our struggles with substance use disorder and/or depression? Stigma and shame! But the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is out to change that, and their latest initiative is one way to get people talking.
Earlier this week, the CMHA announced the launch of a provocative apparel line called Mental Fatigues. From a distance, the t-shirts look like your regular camo print, but up close, each piece tells a different story, highlighting various common mental health issues that are often hidden in plain sight. “The Mental Fatigues apparel line illustrates an important insight about our mental health: when we camouflage our struggles, we hide from the help we need,” says Margaret Eaton, National CEO of CMHA. “CMHA welcomes the support provided through this imaginative campaign.”
Like the wallpaper by renowned design rebels Timorous Beasties, which show picturesque Glasgow scenes, but upon closer examination reveal deep-rooted societal issues— including addiction and economic disparity—the detailed patterns in the Mental Fatigue collection likewise demand a certain level of concentration. The necessary pause to make sense of the image will undoubtedly inspire discussion. “It’s more important than ever to be talking about mental health,” said Alexis Bronstorph, co-Executive Creative Director at TAXI Toronto. “We challenged ourselves to find a creative way to encourage that open dialogue.”
This will surely do that.