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Mental Health

Bioré Wants You to Become a Mental Health First Aider – Here’s What You Need to Know

At one point or another, we’ve all probably bought those Bioré Skincare pore strips in an effort to pull all the gunk and oil out of our pores. Now, Bioré is in partnership with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), from National Council For Mental Wellbeing, and plans to release a mental health program targeted at college students. The program, Get That Sh*t Out, will afford college students the opportunity to become Mental Health First Aiders via MHFA’s Higher Education Mental Health First Aid Training. These trainings will teach students how to address mental health or substance use challenges, providing them with skills they can use during their college years and beyond.

I chatted with Leah Stone, Associate Director, Face Care at Bioré, about the inspiration behind Get That Sh*t Out and how the program will help destigmatize mental health challenges across college campuses.

So, what’s the story behind the Bioré and MHFA partnership?

Bioré may be known for its skincare products, but they’re passionate about mental health, too. “As we think about [our] consumers, we know that they're experiencing mental health and wellness challenges at a higher rate than any other previous generation,” Stone says. “The events of last year have not helped anybody’s mental wellness. We have always leaned into getting that shit out of your pores, so how do you make sure that you are putting your best face forward and doing just that?”

Stone says the program name, Get That Sh*t Out, is meant to illustrate a duality of worlds — how skincare and physical wellness can go hand-in-hand with mental wellness. Just as Bioré’s pore strips act as a physical treatment for getting the gunk in your pores, MHFA acts as a mental treatment for getting mental health challenges out in the open and normalizing the conversations surrounding these challenges. Skincare, after all, can directly impact your mental health.

“I think we can all probably agree on some level that when you are having any kind of skin challenges, it’s really hard to put yourself out there in the world,” says Stone. “It’s one of those things where you are constantly focusing on it and it can take you away from doing things that you love. As I mentioned before with Bioré, we think about clearing the way for your skin — how do we take that to a different place? We partnered with MHFA in order to give people the opportunity to become their own mental health first aid counselors and be able to be trained in the ways and the tools that are needed to have these conversations.” 

What is Mental Health First Aid, anyway?

Mental Health First Aid, or MHFA, is a program designed to train individuals to understand and respond to mental health crises. The program is aimed at college students, who will have the opportunity to become trained to work with people experiencing mental health challenges in the coming year. Stone says the program will be rolled out to about one hundred college campuses this spring, but that the “real timing” for the program is this fall, when college students will return to campus more than one year after the pandemic. 

“We will have college students begin to sign up to potentially receive training on their campuses in mid-April of this year,” Stone says. “We’re not sure how trainings will be offered in 2022, but for now, we’re offering virtual trainings through the end of this year. People can opt in on a first-come, first-serve basis.” 

What makes Get That Sh*t Out unique?

Stone says that Get That Sh*t Out is both action-oriented and first-person-based. “We want our consumers to be a part of this conversation,” she says. “It's really important to us because, by having this first-person action-oriented approach, we can move this cause along quickly and make sure that people are getting all the tools they need to have these very important conversations.”

The program is not only reserved for college students; Stone says people at Bioré are joining the conversation, too.

“It’s really exciting because we’ve been able to get our brand teams, some of our internal partners, agency partners, and editorial partners trained in mental health first aid,” she says. “One of the things that our brand team has done is really ‘share our shit,’ because we wouldn’t want to have our consumers do anything that we wouldn’t do personally. We’ve had brand representatives that have shared their own mental health journeys very authentically and personally. I think that’s a great way to engage with our consumers and help people understand that we are in this for the long haul.”

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What’s the story behind the name, Get That Sh*t Out?

It’s not often that a brand — especially a skincare brand — uses profanity in its marketing. Bioré, Stone says, is different in this respect.

“Bioré has always been a brand that is really about being in your face and upfront about what we’re doing, so we wanted to do something that was going to be unique in this space,” Stone says. “We don’t want to sugarcoat anything. I think Bioré is a brand that likes to do things that are going to be different and stand out in the market.”

What’s next for the program?

Stone is hopeful that Get That Sh*t Out will grow over the years and become an important part of mental health and wellness conversations on college campuses.

“It’s really important for us that everybody has the opportunity to participate,” Stone says. “MHFA already has a lot of trainers on campuses across the country, so we’re able to leverage that network and we’re working with them to help the campuses know about this opportunity.”

Stone says Bioré and MHFA plan to collaborate for many years to come.

“We will continue down this path of mental health first aid and mental wellness in general, because it is so important to our consumers and to our teams,” she says. “Personally, I hope to see Get That Sh*t Out evolve over the course of the next several years to become a core part of the Bioré DNA.”

Sign up to become a Mental Health First Aider.

Becca is a senior at Emory University studying English and Political Science. When she's not writing or stressing over homework, she can be found reading, rowing, or listening to Ed Sheeran on repeat.
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