Who: The Canadian Mental Health Association and Taxi Toronto.
What: “Mental Fatigues,” a new limited-edition clothing line that uses camouflage prints to demonstrate how many Canadians hide their mental health issues. It comes with a fundraising component to provide support and assistance for those dealing with mental health challenges.
When & Where: Three shirts are being sold at MentalFatigues.ca for $39.99, with all proceeds going to the CMHA to help it provide advocacy, programs and resources enabling Canadians to flourish.
Why: The program is a fundraiser but is also intended to advance the discussion around mental health in Canada. Each year, an estimated 20% of Canadians experience mental illness or a mental health issue.
The shirts highlight three of the leading mental health issues that affect Canadians: Anxiety disorder, which affects up to 3 million Canadians each year; substance abuse disorder, which impacts an estimated 1.2 million Canadians; and workplace mental health, which sees more than 500,000 Canadians miss work each week due to mental health issues.
How: Taxi worked with Toronto-based illustrator Ka-Young Lee to develop the shirts, which are available in three patterns—at first glance they seem like typical camouflage but look closer and each features a depiction of a mental health issue. The anxiety disorder pattern portrays the negative feelings that it can produce, such as anger, fear and avoidance; the substance use disorder pattern illustrates the dangers it produces, such as a loss of control and relationship problems; while the workplace mental health pattern depicts workplace feelings of being overwhelmed or feeling powerless.
And we quote: “The Mental Fatigues apparel line illustrates an important insight about our mental health: when we camouflage our struggles, we hide from the help we need. CMHA welcomes the support provided through this imaginative campaign.” —Margaret Eaton, national CEO, Canadian Mental Health Association.