Despite the ever-growing number of high-profile celebrities willing to talk about their own mental health publicly and proudly, there's still a powerful stigma surrounding emotional and psychological issues that keeps many other people silent.
In a new survey, 92% of people think the stigma against mental illness remains, and 81% think that stigma is due to a lack of understanding of mental health. The survey, conducted on behalf of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, also found that 19% of people don't believe mental illnesses are serious conditions.
It's seriously time for that to change. And in that spirit, Janssen is partnering with mental health organizations, including Mental Health America and TEAM, on an upcoming art project called Champions of Science: Art of Ending Stigma. The project will showcase original submissions that highlight the shame and embarrassment surrounding mental illness—and how to break it down.
"Statically speaking, everyone knows someone who is struggling with mental health, but most people don't know how to support this person. This fear of not knowing what to say or do has resulted in people being afraid to talk about mental health," TEAM founder Mackenzie Drazan said in a statement. "Art allows us to break through these taboo topics and creates a new dialogue. Art is universally appreciated and understood and thus creates a common language to help teach communities how we can better support one another."
Anyone can submit a piece of artwork now through October 31, 2018 at ArtofEndingStigma.com. Selected pieces will be showcased at the New York Academy of Sciences on October 9. Below are a few of the submissions received so far for inspiration—to submit your own artwork or to think about your own biases surrounding mental health and wellness.
2 of 7Champions of Science: Art of Ending Stigma
3 of 7WIlliam/Champions of Science: Art of Ending Stigma
4 of 7Champions of Science: Art of Ending Stigma
5 of 7Lily/Champions of Science: Art of Ending Stigma
6 of 7Geetika/Champions of Science: Art of Ending Stigma
7 of 7Christine/Champions of Science: Art of Ending Stigma