A major Canadian company has launched a t-shirt campaign to raise awareness about mental health issues and to help fund support services. The Hudson’s Bay Company is a global retailer and this campaign is part of a larger one in which it pledges $6 million for mental health awareness by 2020.
The t-shirt reads “The Future Is Stigma Free” and aims to reduce negative attitudes around mental illness and the resulting reluctance on the part of some people to seek help. The t-shirt costs $33 and all of the money raised will go to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health which is Canada’s largest mental health teaching hospital and a leading research centre. The campaign also invites people to join a social media conversation and will contribute $5 for each post up to $100,000.
Many experience mental health problems
It’s estimated that in any given year, one in five people in Canada will experience a mental health problem. About eight per cent of people will experience major depression at some point in their lives. Almost half of those who have suffered depression or anxiety have never seen a doctor about the problem.
There are several initiatives around this issue. Another major company, Bell, has undertaken a large campaign to raise awareness about mental health issues. And the government of Canada set up a special mental health commission in 2007 to advance mental health services.