For long-time readers and followers of my work you will have heard of District23. For those that haven’t, District23 is an extension of Caitlin McEvoy Studio with a focus on mental health and wellness. This past week District23 unveiled its new look, new website and a bigger focus on mental health. It seemed fitting to bring the launch forward in time for Mental Health Awareness week.
In recent years District23 has shifted to focus on mental health and wellness. But it took recent downfalls in my own mental health recovery to shape it into the brand that relaunched last week.
With such a stigma surrounding mental health, more and more people with influential names and platforms are making their own struggles known. Breaking down the stigma is crucial to helping make mental health a conversation that is normal.
There should be no shame in struggling and asking for help if needed. But people do struggle – and they struggle in silence.
When rebuilding the website it was important to include statistics that all could relate to. The District23 tagline is to Change the Way People Think and a part of that begins with statistical evidence to show that mental health affects more people than you may think. In fact, 25% of the UK’s population will struggle with mental health in some shape or form every year. Statistics may not change the stigma, but they bring about realism to a situation that needs attention.
District23 is not just about supporting those with mental health problems, it hopes to show those without mental health problems that it’s completely normal and can affect anyone.
Why share my story?
For years I’ve battled depression and anxiety and it went misdiagnosed for almost five years. Fast-forward almost ten years, and while there is more of an understanding, it’s still incredibly difficult to get a diagnosis that fits how you feel. As a result of this you may feel as though there is no point in getting yourself checked out by a doctor. By sharing my own struggles I hope to show that there is light at the end of the metaphorical tunnel, that you can live a normal healthy life without living in fear of mental health controlling your every thought.
I’m looking forward to sharing my story at the IPSE National Freelancers Day event where I’ll be speaking on a panel for mental health. It really is a great feeling to be recognised for doing something positive surrounding mental health especially when it’s such a personal topic to many.