Here in the UK, one in four people struggle with their mental health in any given year. Mental health problems account for 28% of burden of disease nationwide – cancer accounts for 16% of that burden, as does heart disease. So why is there so much stigma attached to discussing mental health? As the old saying goes, admitting that you have a problem is half the battle won, but it’s not as simple as it sounds when so many of us – one in four of us – feel we have to suffer in silence due to society’s attitude to mental health.
It has, however, been very exciting to see a surge of backlash against mental health stigmatisation recently. Reassuringly, it seems that, for every few small-minded people who don’t see mental health as a genuine concern, there’s a force to be reckoned with waiting in the wings, usually some sort of creative person or community determined to change societal attitudes towards depression, anxiety, OCD, eating disorders, ADHD, bipolar, schizophrenia and any other disorder that lives largely in the mind.
Now, those looking for a place to connect with likeminded people can turn to Anxy Magazine, which dubs itself as “a beautifully designed magazine about our inner worlds – the ones we often refuse to share, the personal struggles, the fears that fool us into believe that the rest of the world is normal and we’re not.”
Founded by Indhira Rojas, a designer, writer and former Medium employee who also heads up a design consultancy, the US-based Anxy team are on a mission to “tell the real stories behind people’s lives, the unedited version,” according to the publication’s website.
Each issue of the magazine (which, yes, will be a beautiful printed product designed to be cherished, kept and regularly returned to) will focus on a central mental health-related theme and the team will be welcoming contributions from creative people with an original, honest take on the subject at hand.
The only bad thing we have to say about the project is that we wish we’d thought of the idea ourselves.
As Anxy is hoping to pay its contributors (again, as a freelancer myself, props to them for this!), the startup is crowdfunding its first issue. You can donate to the project through its Kickstarter page. There are only seven days left for the startup’s target of $50,000 to be reached, so if you only do one charitable thing all week, make a donation. Swap out your elaborate lunch order for something more simple and put the pennies you’ve saved towards a good creative cause.
Images via Anxy