Mental Illness Is Not A Costume

I am NOT my mental illness, and my mental illness is NOT your costume. Thank you to my amazing mentor/role model/big sister/and everything in between, Kate Kryder, for writing such an important post just in time for Mental Health Awareness Week from October 11-17th. Learn more about the work she does and her campaign here: #StigmaFree #NotaCostume #MentalHealthAwareness

Grateful Heart Yoga Center

One morning last week, like any other morning, I was checking email on my daily work commute. Except that morning I discovered an email in my inbox that read “Offensive Costume Alert.” At first I thought it was spam but decided to open it anyway. I was confronted with an image that put a pit in my stomach – a white jumpsuit splattered with blood and read “Dorothea Dix Psych Ward.” I had to do a double take, I couldn’t believe it. As I read the email I learned this was a costume being sold at a local Halloween pop up store. As my shock continued, I began to realize how intentional this company had to have been to research a local psychiatric hospital and then mass produce these costumes to be sold in the region associated with the hospital.

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The people on the email chain started a grassroots campaign…

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