The fight to end the stigma surrounding mental illnesses is an ongoing battle, and while we’ve definitely made progress, there’s still a long way to go. And there’s no one agreed-upon way to tackle the problem, either. In an effort to help normalize the dialogue surrounding mental health, one company has created a mental health-themed necklace line — but Twitter users can’t agree if it’s helping or harming.
Jen Gotch, founder of the lifestyle brand ban.do, recently released the nameplate-style necklaces in collaboration with Iconery, and customers can choose between the words “Anxiety,” “Depression,” or “Bipolar” on their chains.
In a statement, Gotch — who herself suffers from Bipolar Disorder — said that she intends for the jewelry to “serve as a conversation starter for people to be more open about what’s going on in their minds.” Ban.do donates 100% of all proceeds from the line to Bring Change to Mind, an organization that aims to end the stigma around mental illness (and will also donate 1% of all site profits to the org for the month of May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month).
However, despite Gotch’s intentions, some are concerned that the necklaces appear to make light of mental illness — especially since not everyone who sees them will know the story behind their creation.
Ban.do’s official Twitter account responded to the criticism by reiterating the company’s goals in creating the jewelry.
Others defended the necklaces, noting they helped start a conversation.
As we said, there’s no certain way to address the stigma around mental illness, and there’s bound to be debate over the best way to do so as we all strive to push an inclusive narrative forward. What are you thoughts on the necklaces?