Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans is affected by mental illness each year? Or that only 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year? And 90% of those who die by suicide had an underlying mental illness. The statistics are startling and should not be overlooked.
And that is why beauty brand philosophy has joined forces with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) for the hope & grace initiative. This inititiative is committed to shining a spotlight and creating an awareness about mental illness, with at least 1% of net USA product sales to charity.
Chicago Med star Torrey Devitto was the keynote speaker at the hope & grace luncheon, held at Esterel Restaurant at the Sofitel. And she shared with me what it is like to have an anxiety disorder, comparing an anxiety attack to having “a spider bite you deep in the chest, with the venom spreading throughout your body.” And how does she cope with an attack? Her mom. “My mother also suffers from anxiety attacks so she knows exactly where I am coming from when I reach out to her to talk about it.”
Tragedy can also strike too close to home with mental illness. Sadly, that is exactly what happened to Honestly Jamie founder/editor Jamie Stone, who is also a friend of mine. She revealed in a heartfelt speech at the luncheon that she recently lost her sister, Melissa, who had suffered from bi-polar disorder for most of her life. And because of the stigma associated with mental illness, Jamie’s sister refused help, chose to self-medicate and accidentally overdosed on Percocet in April. Jamie was so brave and so gracious to share her story, and emphasized that neither she, her sister, nor her family would want another person to have to go through what they have. That is why it is so important to shed the stigma from mental illness.
The hope & grace initiative is focused on making mental illness #StigmaFree to ensure those suffering will be able to get the help they need. Click here to learn more about this amazing cause. Do you have something to share? Feel free to comment below.