End the Stigma: Mental Health Awareness is for More than Just Moms
*TRIGGER WARNING: This post talks about suicide and mental health. There are no affiliate links in this blog, but I am spotlighting a brand that gifted me the hoodie and shirt you see featured. That being said, I do highly recommend them and genuinely love their products. There are many links and resources in this blog for you to look into, and I encourage that. Please note, I am not a doctor or a licensed therapist, but I am a friend and an ally.*
I have been pretty much an open book on social media for YEARS now, but one thing that I don't talk about enough is my struggle with anxiety and depression or my on-going struggle with self-worth. Even deeper than that, I only recently shared a tiny bit about my struggles with suicidal thoughts.
Well, I found this amazing company called FerrisBuilt and I was floored! I spent days scanning their website, looking at all their designs and stickers. I stalked their Instagram reading and crying over all the stories of breakthroughs and on-going struggles as well as success stories. It was all super empowering and I realized that this is not a subject we talk enough about as MOTHERS. Yeah, I'm calling out my own here. We talk about the PPA and PPD and all the other Post Partum Problems, but we need to keep the conversation going. It doesn't just affect us for a short period of time. And I feel like this goes without saying, but you don't have to be a mother to experience anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts. Hell, we might not be the only ones in our household suffering either!
I feel like FerrisBuilt does a good job of bringing a tough conversation to the table and empowering women to talk about it! So I decided to interview the #ladyboss that started this bomb company and I wanted to share with you what she has to say!
MEET LINDSEY FERRIS
"I live in Seattle with my twin daughters who are in middle school. We often can be found crafting and creating, adventuring around the Seattle area, and doing outdoor activities when the sun is out. As for my career, I’ve spent the bulk of my 20-year career in event management and production planning and have had a business for the last 12 years that my business partner and I had to close last spring due to covid regulations and shutdowns of our industry. In July last year , I decided to try to sell some of the wood art that I built in my woodshop and started doing t-shirt designs for issues and topics that were important to me as well as being full time in my master’s program for marriage and family therapy as it’s something I wanted to do since getting my undergraduate degree many years ago (I’m old!). Mental health awareness is something that I am passionate about in that there is often a stigma about talking about mental health challenges and unless we change this, there are many people who may not seek help due to discomfort in talking about what they are feeling or experiencing."
Why did you start Ferris Built and where did the name come from? – "I started FerrisBuilt off of my long-time Etsy store. For years I’ve been selling art or things I make on Etsy and in the spring of 2018, I started selling my wood art and changed my shop name to “FerrisBuilt” because I was building art and furniture. In spring of 2020, I lost my 12-year Event business due to Covid and had to figure out a way to pivot and make a living. So I put all my effort into my art and designs and started selling apparel with empowering messages. By fall of 2020, I realized my apparel was what my customers liked the most so I have focused primarily on apparel and goods since then. I am also working on my Master’s degree in marriage and family therapy - which is where my motivation is behind empowering messages in my mental health awareness and self-care collection."
Why the focus on mental health awareness? - "I think that mental health has way too much stigma around it, many people suffer in silence with various mental health challenges and by talking about our challenges more openly, I believe it will help people get more help and support that is available to them. We are all touched by mental health in some way, whether directly or from someone we love or know. I am now donating 5% of every purchase to various mental health advocacy programs to support stopping the stigma and having more conversations around mental health. My designs in this collection are to help raise awareness. I also have a self-care collection and strong women collection all products on my site and every purchase has 5% donated to four different charities currently." What mental health organizations do you donate to? I currently donate 5% of each purchase to four different causes. They are:
ADAA anxiety and depression association of America - which promotes the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety and mood disorders, OCD, and PTSD through education, practice, and research.
Brain and Behavior Research Foundation – which is committed to alleviating the suffering caused by mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research.
International Bipolar foundation – which empowers individuals living with bipolar disorder and their caregivers by providing advocacy, education, support, and awareness - fostering a caring community and stigma-free world where mental health is equitably acknowledged and treated.
Active Minds – which empowers students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help-seeking. We are changing the culture on campuses and in the community by providing information, leadership opportunities, and advocacy training to the next generation. Through campus-wide events and national programs, Active Minds aims to remove the stigma that surrounds mental health issues and create a comfortable environment for an open conversation about mental health issues.
I HIGHLY recommend you go check out FerrisBuilt and get yourself something. Make it something meaningful, something that will remind you that you are powerful and in control! If I could wish one thing for this world, it would be that everyone understands their worth and that they mean something to someone.
If you ever feel like you need to talk to someone, you can always DM me on Instagram or Facebook. You can also reach out to the organization above, or if you are in that place where you need it, the suicide hotline at 800-273-8255
You are never alone.
You are worthy.
You are amazing.
You are in control.