How My Depression Inspired a Social Enterprise & a Clothing Campaign For Mental Health Awareness
Ed Mental Health Pledge Campaign 2023: Making Mental Health a Fashionable Statement.
#StandWithMind & #Better Mental Health For All
The journey that led to the creation of my fashionable clothing campaign began during one of the darkest periods of my life. In the wake of my marriage's breakdown and the loss of my job, I found myself descending into a mental health crisis, seemingly overnight.
The world as I knew it had lost all its colour and vibrancy. I went from feeling hopeful for the future to a low mood that seemed to envelop my every waking moment.
The second blow was an overwhelming feeling of isolation; I felt as if I was alone in a world filled with people. Soon, even my love for life – good food and drink, music, sports, meeting people and entertainment – faded into the background.
Despite the inner turmoil, to the outside world, I seemed okay. I wore a mask of normality that fooled even my closest friends. Yet, beneath the surface, I was in a state of desolation, my living space and mental state mirroring one another's disarray.
This unbearable loneliness and despair persisted for months. The struggle was silent but relentless, and I felt myself losing ground. However, even in the midst of this mental health breakdown, a part of me refused to give in. I knew I couldn't afford to fall apart. I had to fight, I had to claw my way back.
This determination led me to seek help from my GP, who confirmed that I was suffering from depression.
It was during this period of therapy that I discovered the life-changing benefits of mental health services in the UK. This sparked an idea in me - a concept for Edwin's Humankind Service (E.H.S) Because we care, a Community Interest Company.
Today, I am proud to launch the Ed Mental Health Pledge Campaign 2023, in support of Mind Charity, a UK-based organisation dedicated to helping people with mental health issues.
It is a unique campaign that combines my love for fashion with my passion for mental health advocacy. The campaign is rooted in my personal experience and other people’s stories of depression and is used to fuel a broader conversation on mental health.
"However, of greater significance, the primary objective of this campaign is to leverage my own experiences as a source of inspiration. I aim to ignite a spark within you and anyone facing challenges, motivating them to take proactive steps in addressing their circumstances, seeking assistance, and ultimately contributing to the betterment of our community."
The premise is simple: I believe fashion can be a powerful medium to promote mental health awareness. Through the creation of an exclusive clothing collection, I aim to break down the societal stigmas surrounding mental health and normalise these vital discussions. Each piece I have designed embodies courage, resilience, and strength. They are not merely items of clothing but symbols of solidarity and understanding.
Yet, the Ed Mental Health Pledge Campaign is more than just a fashion statement. It is my way of giving back, of ensuring others do not have to navigate the treacherous terrain of mental health struggles alone. I've pledged to donate 10% of all sales from this campaign directly to Mind via Work For Good. This donation will support Mind in offering its invaluable services, such as the Mind Info Line helpline and the online peer support platform, Side by Side.
I invite you all to join me in this mission. Whether you purchase a piece from the collection or donate directly or like, share or follow us on social media, your support is critical in creating a transformative impact on mental health awareness.
Mental health issues can affect anyone, which is why our fight is a collective one. Together, we can redefine what it means to discuss mental health, using the power of fashion to make it a uniting force.
Each clothing piece in the campaign's collection is an embodiment of my personal journey and a testament to the resilience of those facing mental health challenges.