Mental illness is both common and treatable, but every day stigma prevents those in our communities from seeking the help they need. It Gets Brighter invites everyone, including those who have lived with mental illness and those who have supported loved ones with a mental illness, to speak openly about their experiences and to reassure others that it can–and will–get brighter.
If you have experienced a mental health challenge, we hope that you will seize this opportunity to share what helps make it brighter for you. Or, simply express your solidarity with those struggling with their mental health, and share a message of hope and acceptance. We believe that expressing what’s happening in our heads is better than suppressing it, and that mental health challenges do not define us. Together we can prove that there is ability in our vulnerability.
(1) What is the It Gets Brighter campaign?
As many as one in four people will suffer from a mental illness, yet still, mental illness is often considered an uncomfortable topic of conversation. We want to change that. The It Gets Brighter campaign is about challenging the misconceptions around mental illness and those who suffer from it, and letting sufferers know that they are not alone. By encouraging those who suffer from mental illness and their friends to speak openly about their experiences and what has helped them, we believe that we can inspire others with the hope that it can–and will–get brighter.
(2) What is the effect of stigmatization?
Having a mental illness is difficult enough without having to worry about the silence and shame one experiences within one’s family, friendship group, and community. Mental health struggles do not define a person, and yet many people feel they will be personally judged for being open about a mental health challenge. If our communities become more accepting, we can help those of us with a mental illness to better come to terms with it, and to seek the help and support they need. If we can better care for our own mental health, and support our loved ones through their struggles, things will get brighter for our communities.
(3) Why ‘Brighter’?
Though we understand the deterioration and devastation marking the course of mental illness for many, we want to emphasise the tremendous scope for recovery when support and treatment are attained, and when they are separated from stigma and taboo. The ‘It Gets Brighter’ wording was chosen deliberately to inspire hope and challenge the perception, common to sufferers of mental illness, that the darkness will go on forever.