Sadly, “one in five American adults live with a mental illness.” Lokai and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) have partnered up to create some awareness for mental illnesses to create some conversation about this using the hashtag: #letstalk. The result from this campaign was the orange Lokai bracelet. Their goal is to “stop the stigma and stand with the millions who live with health conditions.”
(image courtesy of Julieann Cody)
Even though the number of American adults living with a mental illness is high, there are still very few people who talk about it. There is this stigma surrounding it that if you have a mental illness, you should hide it, be ashamed of it. But it’s nothing to be ashamed of. And Lokai and the National Alliance on Mental Illness have created this bracelet in hopes to give “people with mental health conditions a safe place to talk and receive the support they need.” For every bracelet sold, $1 will be donated to NAMI with at least a contribution of $200,000. This bracelet is a limited edition and is available here until March 31st, but supplies are limited.
This Lokai bracelet is mostly made up of orange beads, but there is also one white and black bead. The Lokai website states that “each Lokai is infused with elements from the highest and lowest points on Earth. The white bead carries water from Mt. Everest, and the black bead contains mud from the Dead Sea. These extreme elements are a reminder to the wearer to find balance- staying humble during life’s highs and hopeful during its lows.”
I heard about the bracelet and this cause through one of the other students here at USFSP. Julieann Cody posted a picture of her new orange Lokai bracelet on Facebook with the caption “I’m thankful for companies who are not afraid to break boundaries and talk about mental health! I encourage everyone to get a bracelet for yourself! It’s worth the money.” Her post is what inspired me to write this article, so I decided to ask her if she had any comment.
“Mental illness is something that is far too common to still have [a] stigma associated with it,” Julieann continued. “We need to break those boundaries. I know many people who are too afraid to talk [about it] because they’re worried they will be judged.”
Let’s start talking about the importance of mental health. Let’s provide support for those who need it. Let’s stop acting like mental illnesses have to be kept a secret. I will listen and try to help anyone who comes to me for support, because it’s time to end the social stigma around mental illness.