At OCD Action, we love nothing more than seeing people joining together to fight mental health stigma. The #itaffectsme campaign does just this. Created by Laura Darrall after a long battle with OCD, this simple hashtag has got people all over the world starting conversations about mental health in order to erase the stigma. Here's how it started:
Laura: "The idea for #itaffectsme first came to me after I came out the other side of a mental breakdown, six months of panic attacks, anxiety, OCD and depression. I was sat on the edge of my bed and for the first time in months I felt clarity of thought and a fire in my belly and I knew that I had to use it to make a change, to make people unafraid to speak out and to put an end to stigma. But I had no idea how, so I said a prayer, looked over at my desk, spotted the post-its and then it was like a light bulb switched on in my brain! A real Eureka moment, and it has snowballed from there.
#itaffectsme is simply the statement that at some point in all our lives we have seen or known mental illness in ourselves or others and have been affected or moved by it."
We were so excited to hear about the campaign and how widely it has spread. People in their thousands have been posting their selfies and spreading the word about how mental health difficulties have had an effect on them (you might even recognise some of the famous faces supporting the campaign)! Here are just a few of the pictures that have been shared:
The campaign started in January of this year, but is going from strength to strength. Find out more in the official #itaffectsme documentary:
"Because that is what mental illness feels like, it feels like your brain, the thing inside of you which up until now you completely associated with your sense of identity and self, is on fire and on the attack and will not rest until you are flattened. It feels like someone has placed a blanket of lead over your head that no matter how hard you try you cannot (unlike Taylor Swift) shake it off."
Laura kindly shared her story of OCD, depression and anxiety with us. To read her story, click the link below.
A new challenge for World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day is fast approaching, and on the 10th October people all over the world will be carrying out their own activities to support this momentous day. Here is one way you can get involved:
The #itaffectsme team want to make a video to make the world sit up and listen. They need your help. Email a short snappy full quality phone video of yourself to firstname.lastname@example.org before September 20th answering any or all of the following questions about mental health:
1. It Affects Me because...
2. How does it affect you? Everyday life/Mentally/Physically/Emotionally?
3. How were you supported?
4. How has talking about it helped?
5. How do you feel mental health is dealt with compared to physical health?
6. What change would you like to see in the world for mental health?
Due to time limits they may not be able to use all the clips but need as much variety as possible so ask family/friends/neighbours, share and spread the word. Let's be the change for mental health!