Mental Health Is Trending: Reality TV Stars Join Forces With Fashion Brand

Becky Banham
By Becky Banham,
updated on Jul 13, 2018

Mental Health Is Trending: Reality TV Stars Join Forces With Fashion Brand

How one emerging fashion label is using their slogan t-shirts with the help of influencers to promote mental health awareness

Over the last couple of months there have been a number of tragic celebrity deaths by suicide, including TV host and author Anthony Bourdain, fashion designer Kate Spade, DJ Tim Bergling (commonly known as Avicii) and Love Island contestant Sophie Gradon.

In light of these tragedies, one newly established clothing label has created #MentalHealthIsTrending, a product range and viral campaign, calling for awareness of mental illness. Created by Helen Hope, founder of sustainable fashion brand, Heartknoxx, the campaign hopes to shine a spotlight on real expereinces of mental ill health. Born out of her own experience of chronic anxiety and panic attacks, and with the support of her family, Helen was able to turn her experience into something positive.

She designed a clothing range, featuring key slogans such as ‘Let’s make mental health a conversation’, ‘It’s OK not to feel OK’ and ‘I’m fine’ in a bid to help stomp out the stigmas attached to mental illness. From the sale of these products, 10% of all proceeds go to the Mental Health Foundation.

Helen commented: “I was determined to use the message ‘I’m Fine’ to create awareness because so many of us say we’re ok, but are we really?

“I think the slogan has a really strong message. ‘I’m Fine’ can be interpreted by the individual in so many ways and so, I think that’s why it’s resonated with our audience so much and in such a short space of time.”

The campaign has gained the backing of several UK influencers, such as Love Island stars Zara Holland and Malin Andersson, BBC TV and Radio 1 presenter Katie Thistleton, BBC Children’s TV personality and sports commentator Ben Shires, as well as Channel 4’s First Dates stars Laura Tott and Cici Coleman.

The brand has quickly developed a reputation for providing a voice for those who have experienced mental health issues. The Instagram account, also described as the ‘Warrior Wall’, is a forum for the campaign’s followers, with people able to share their own stories or thoughts on mental health awareness.

Since launching, Helen says, “The page has been inundated with positive messages of support. We get so many private messages from people either too scared to share their stories openly, frustrated with the lack of support or just looking for advice, which just seems to amplify the problem for me.”

“With the sole objective of normalising conversations around mental health, Helen wants to highlight that there’s a person behind each and every post on the account. She states, “We are all too guilty of scrolling past the polished little squares on our phones and forgetting to acknowledge this is a real person. I feel this campaign really confronts this.”

“The statistics state that one in four people are affected by mental illness but I suspect this is so much higher. How can it be one in four, when every person with a mental illness is likely to have friends and family who are also affected by it too?”

So, what’s next for the campaign?

“Our long-term goal is to create a video campaign with each of our influencers and to turn the stories from our Instagram page into a book with all book proceeds, donated to Mental Health Charities in the UK,” Helen says.

“The movement is more than just slogan t-shirts. It's something that is not only changing my life but the lives of the people I've been involved with so far, too. We are extremely passionate about normalising conversations around mental illness and we won't stop until this becomes a global campaign.”

MentalHealthIsTrending is the latest in a line of fashion brands looking to raise awareness and give back to charity. In Music We Trust donate 50% of their profits to mental health Mind, while Ninety Percent give back 90% of their profits to a range of charities.

Discover more about British fashion disrupters and how they are taking ethical fashion to a whole new level.

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