It’s not just nonprofit organizations that are launching mental health awareness campaigns these days. Big companies are getting in on the act, too. Brands that are popular with teens, like Hollister, Sephora, and MadHappy, are creating campaigns that seek to reduce stigmas and promote understanding of teen mental health challenges.
In February, Hollister announced the inaugural World Teen Mental Wellness Day on March 2, 2020. Created in partnership with the National Day Calendar, it raises awareness around mental health and the importance of self-care for teens around the world. This is the first day of its kind dedicated to mental wellness for teens in particular.
Along with World Teen Mental Wellness Day, Hollister launched the Hollister Confidence Project. This global initiative will raise funds for projects and organizations that support teenage mental health awareness and promote teen well-being.
Brands That Support Mental Health Awareness
Other companies that support mental health do so by celebrating diverse standards of beauty in their advertising. Therefore, they help to promote a sense of acceptance and belonging for teens and young adults. Makeup brands Glossier and Sephora, as well as the clothing brand Outdoor Voices, feature real, relatable people from diverse backgrounds with varying body types in their ads and social media. Some brands use unconventional models, such as the disabled, trans model Aaron Philip. American Eagle stands out among motivational clothing brands because of its decision made in 2014 to ban digital retouching of the models in its ads.
Moreover, companies that donate to mental health are launching unique mental health awareness campaigns. The clothing and accessories brand Ban.do sells a line of necklaces with words including “anxiety,” “depression,” “bipolar,” and “resilience.” Their website states, “One thing we can all do is work to remove the stigmas associated with mental illness. These necklaces are a step in doing that and we hope they can also serve as a conversation starter for people to be more open about what’s going on in their minds.” In addition, Ban.do donates all of the money raised by the jewelry to the nonprofit, Bring Change to Mind, which works to fight the stigmas around mental health conditions.
Madhappy’s Mental Health Awareness Campaigns
Madhappy is one of the more prominent companies that support mental health. Noah Raf, a millennial who has experienced mental health struggles himself, is the founder of the LA-based streetwear clothing brand. As a result, Madhappy has a mission to make a difference by running mental health awareness campaigns. This has caught the attention of many on social media, with the brand amassing 72,000 followers on Instagram. And large firms are supporting Raf’s work, including LVMH Luxury Ventures, which in 2019 made a sizable investment in the brand.
Madhappy sells mental health awareness shirts emblazoned with slogans such as “Local Optimist” and “A little goes a long way at the end of the day.” Madhappy also offers meditation workshops in its stores, has a blog featuring mental health stories, and partners with a funding organization to promote mental health awareness.
Big Companies That Support Mental Health
In addition to smaller brands like Madhappy, big companies are working to reduce mental health stigmas as well. Saks Fifth Avenue pledged $6 million to support mental health awareness and also created installations about mental wellness at its flagship stores. In 2019, Revlon partnered with the mental health organization Gurls Talk to develop makeup kits that send uplifting messages in its packaging. And multinational companies like Apple and Starbucks have recently increased mental health benefits for employees.
Companies that support mental health are also inspired by consumer trends. According to a 2018 study, 69 percent of Gen Z consumers are more likely to buy from brands that support social causes. Moreover, a full one-third of these young shoppers won’t buy from companies with values they don’t support. Hopefully, that will help inspire more brands to do the right thing as far as teenage mental health awareness.
In addition, mental health awareness campaigns help promote communication between peers and within families. Mental health awareness in-store displays, jewelry, and clothing serve as conversation starters. Furthermore, they help normalize mental health challenges. While research on the results of these new mental health awareness campaigns isn’t yet available, the hope is that more young people feel supported by loved ones and connected to a larger community as a result of these campaigns.