GOSH!ABOUT: Mental Illness and Fashion? .. Why Not?

wear your label, kyle, kayley, clothing, mental illness

Editor in Chief: Najaam Lee

Art Show>  http://www.NajaamLeeArt.com  http://www.NajaamLee.com

Mental Illness is a hidden subject that most do not want to deal with but it is the most popular condition in our society.

Why is that?

First, lets just break it down, because most people think that Mental Illness = CRAZY! Therefore, lets get it correct. What is Mental Illness & Mental Health?


Mental illness is any disease or condition that abnormally influences the way a person thinks, feels, behaves, or relates to others and to his or her surroundings. Although the symptoms of mental illness can range from mild to severe and are different depending on the type of mental illness, a person with an untreated mental illness often has difficulty coping with life’s daily routines and demands.


MENTAL HEALTH according to MentalHealth.gov

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.


Now we have the definition, lets get some numbers to put this into perspective. These stats are from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) based on 2012 statistics. These numbers are for the United States.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.7 million, or 18.6%—experiences mental illness in a given year.
  • Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—13.6 million, or 4.1%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
  • Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.
  • 1.1% of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia.
  • 2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.
  • 6.9% of adults in the U.S.—16 million—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.
  • 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.
  • Among the 20.7 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 40.7%—8.4 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.

– See more at: https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-By-the-Numbers#sthash.mw24JnKO.dpuf

By these stats, it shows bottom line we all have experienced some type of mental illness in our lives.
What I will focus on in this article is a type of mental illness we all experience and that is Anxiety & Stress.

The difference between them is that stress is a response to a threat in a situation. Anxiety is a reaction to the stress.

Whether in good times or bad, most people say that stress interferes at least moderately with their lives. Chronic stress can affect your health, causing symptoms from headaches, high blood pressure, and chest pain to heart palpitations, skin rashes, and loss of sleep.

But you can learn how to reduce the impact of stress and manage your symptoms.

Physical activity is a proven way to reduce stress. Regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, and improve sleep and self-esteem. Other effective methods include mind-body practices of breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation.

Relaxation techniques have been used to assist in the treatment of phobias, panic disorder, and depression, as well as providing relief for people in stressful situations. Find out more about complementary and alternative medicine.


But how does Anxiety & Stress tie in with Fashion?

Kayley Reed and Kyle MacNevin, co-founders of Wear Your Label, a conscious clothing line with a goal to create conversations around mental health/mental illness through fashion. Located in New Brunswick, Canada, they came up with an idea to make prints that focused on words, phrases, labels that are commonly used around issues of mental health with a purpose to uplift, create discussions and end the many stigmas that surround Mental Health Issues.
najaam lee, founders, wear your label
Both founders struggle with mental issues themselves, Kyle suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Kayley is recovering from Anorexia Nervosa.
“Our struggles with mental illness, and our experience working with mental health organizations, are what inspired us to start the brand.”
Together, they have worked on numerous mental health initiatives. They facilitated at the student lead mental health summit called Unleash the Noise!, have assisted in youth engagement strategies and branding for various organizations, and now sit on the Youth Advisory Council for ACCESS-Canada, a $25 million initiative to improve mental health services across the country.
What is so unique about their company and what inspired me to write about them is this-
Every piece is designed by someone who is also struggling with a Mental Health issue just like the next person who may buy that piece. Their garments are designed to help you feel connected and empowered to share your story.
As a person who lives with Sickle Cell Anemia, one of the results of having this disease is dealing with high anxiety issues and fatigue. Its not an easy way of living, but yet I can relate with the co-founders and the many customers who buy their garments. We are not alone in this.
Through the positive messages they print, such as ” It’s okay to not be okay” is relatable to wear. On the Garment Tags, they actually print daily reminders, such as “How To Take Care Of Yourself”. Awesome, we can all use a little sticky note!
Wear Your Label have partnered up with local and national organizations of Mental Health, so that 10% of every garment sold, goes back to help and make a bigger impact. They travel sharing their stories, do speaking engagements, workshops, etc.. to help end stigmas and spread awareness.
To learn more about Wear Your Label and its Co-Founders or to get your own T-shirt, visit http://www.WearYourLabel.com
*Please check out our Affiliates article :  http://www.lapazimageingfashion.com/fashion-with-a-purpose/
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