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These Necklaces Highlighting Mental Health Diagnosis Are Super Controversial

When ban.do released a line of necklaces with words like “anxiety” and “bipolar,” the lifestyle brand wanted to start a conversation and decrease the stigma surrounding mental illness, according to a statement from founder and chief creative officer Jen Gotch included in the online store’s description of the necklaces.

“I have struggled with mental health issues for most of my life and I know how challenging it can be both personally and professionally,” Gotch wrote in the necklaces’ description. “It’s so important for us to open up a dialogue about how we are feeling and get to a place where we are comfortable asking for and receiving help. 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 I hope they can also serve as a conversation starter for people to be more open about what’s going on in their minds. Wear it in good (mental) health.”

Proceeds from the necklaces go to Bring Change to Mind, a non-profit that fights the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. 

But not everyone is convinced that the necklaces are a good way to start conversation or reduce stigma. Some people worry the necklaces portray mental illness as a cute fashion statement, while others think wearing the necklaces is a good way to show they’re not ashamed of mental illness.

While some think wearing the necklaces could reduce the stigma, others think they simply romanticize mental illness.

Though many twitter users think reducing the stigma is important, they don’t think these necklaces are a good way to achieve this.

But others think visibility is important, and wearing a necklace CAN help break the stigma.

With many different opinions about the necklaces, one twitter user suggested that ban.do isn’t successfully achieving its goal if the necklaces are causing so much controversy.

ban.do responded to the thread, attempting to clarify the intentions behind the necklaces but also encouraging discussion.

Though the necklaces are controversial, they’ve also been quite popular, according to Refinery29

Paige recently graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in journalism. She loves live music, coffee and hummus. When she's not reading or writing articles, she's probably fantasizing about traveling the world or laughing at her own jokes.
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