It is very likely that you know someone who has a mental illness.
According to statistics released by the World Health Organization, one in four people in the world are affected by mental illness. This means that around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions.
The website idontmind.com is a new campaign to promote mental health and the conversation surrounding mental illness. The program was started by actor Chris Wood, who plays on the CW’s “Supergirl” and “Vampire Diaries”.
When Wood was in his 20s, he and his family watched as his father struggled with an “undiagnosed mood disorder” and the difficulties that brings to a family and an individual. After years of watching his father go through the hardship that mental illness brings, Wood wanted to take action. This lead to the launch and creation of the I DON’T MIND movement and its corresponding website.
As stated on the website, the mission of the movement is to, “defeat the stigma surrounding mental illness starts with a simple phrase: I DON’T MIND.” The idea is that by saying, “I Don’t Mind,” people can break down the barrier of stigma surrounding mental illness and begin feeling able to talk about it openly.
The website doesn’t just offer advice and promote the I DON’T MIND movement, however. There is also a “find help” tab that lists 24/7 hotlines and help services that people can call and text. A link to “OK2TALK,” an online community that provides teens and young adults a forum to talk with each other in a safe space, is also available.
Those who wish to get involved with the I DON’T MIND movement can help to remove the societal taboo around mental illness by speaking out about their experiences on social media. Anyone can join I DON’T MIND and take the pledge to stand up against the stigma. Let those who are struggling know there’s hope in fighting against perceived shame with open discussion.
When discussing mental illness, an important thing to remember is that these are real afflictions that affect individuals in a variety of ways. Learning to live with a mental illness takes time and, in some cases, will never get easier. However, with proper support, understanding and a willingness to speak out for those in the world who are struggling with mental illness, anyone can help.
Carlee Jo Blumenthal