Today is the first of May, which kicks off Mental Health Awareness Month, a 30-day period set aside to focus on education, the alleviation of stigma, and an emphasis on those who are working so hard to change the lives of those living with a mental health diagnosis.
Here at philosophy, we work hard to shine a light on mental health awareness all year long. When we say the problem is larger than most realize, we’re not making light of the situation: approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States —43.8 million people — will experience mental illness in a given year. That is a staggering number. It means mental illness is far more prevalent than most would like to admit and more common than those living with these conditions realize. If you are living with a mental health condition, diagnosed or undiagnosed, know you are not alone and that you can get help for a better tomorrow.
As you might know, we believe in mental health-related causes so much we put our money where our intentions are. 1% of the sale of every product we make goes directly to the hope & grace foundation, which funds mental health-related causes. This year, we’re going one step further with our ‘How Are You, Really?’ campaign and public service announcement (PSA) in an effort to engage women by opening a thought-provoking dialogue that illustrates how the stigma and shame often associated with mental health can be replaced with hope and optimism. We hope this campaign will help bridge the conversation gap between those living with mental illness and their friends, family, and communities.
“This campaign defines the hope & grace initiative’s mental health-related purpose,” says Marie-Pierre Stark-Flora, Global SVP of philosophy and hope & grace fund Advisory Board member. “Most people interpret ‘How are you?’ as a passive greeting – not a question to actually be answered. By asking ‘How Are You Really?’ a platform of support is laid, allowing those living with mental health issues to open up about how they’re really feeling. One conversation at a time, The hope & grace initiative is inviting people to help eliminate the stigma that surrounds women’s mental health.”
We’re also taking our product donation one step further with limited-edition product packaging. In partnership with Project 1 in 4, a creative organization dedicated to erasing the stigma surrounding mental health, we’ve re-imagined our beloved Amazing Grace Body Emulsion with a limited-edition package featuring an illustration from Project 1 in 4 founder, Marissa Betley. “It has been an honor and thrill to partner with philosophy in advancing their hope & grace initiative,” Marissa enthuses. “This year’s campaign beautifully captures how vulnerability and support go hand in hand in fighting mental health stigma. It truly has the power to change lives.” This limited-edition product is available exclusively on philosophy.com and our concept store at Garden State Plaza, NJ, 100% of net proceeds from the sale of this limited-edition item will be donated to the hope & grace fund.
We’re also pleased to announce our hope & grace fund Spring 2017 grant recipients. The execution of grants for this round of grantees brings our total grant donations to more than 3 million dollars to 48 organizations across the United States since the fund’s inception just three short years ago. We’ll be announcing the full list of grantees a bit later this morning, and we couldn’t be more excited for you to learn more about them.
We hope you will join us in spreading awareness of mental health and these worthy causes this month and always. You can help us in asking ‘How Are You Really?’ and join the conversation on social media using the hashtag, #howareyoureally.
Our goal in the creation and execution of these mental health-related causes is to alleviate stigma, raise awareness, and create the world in which someday mental health will be considered with the same care and compassion as any other ailment. We’re striving for this day, and we believe we’ll get there with a little hope and a lot of grace.