A Message from Josh Hellyer
It goes without saying that mental illness and addiction remain largely stigmatized by shame and ignorance, despite the ubiquity of its prevalence in society. Every single heart has been touched by mental illness and addiction, yet those who are impacted by it still feel forced to hide in the shadows out of fear and shame.
On June 5, 2015, I launched an awareness campaign called 'It's Time to Face It', the goal of which was to unite the world's community by boldly declaring that we are all the face of mental illness and addiction.
It was a simple concept; for a single day we join together by wearing heart-felt t-shirts that emphasize the reality of these illnesses. We didn't raise funds; we were raising unconditional support for sufferers and caregivers, allowing them to emerge from the darkness and know they aren?t alone.
The goal of this campaign was to give the power back to the individual and allow them control of their life?s narrative. It?s harder for one person to judge you when thousands more are standing hand in hand saying 'you are ok, and we support you!'.
Mental illness and addiction are not phantom diseases, and the world needs to be reminded of that as often as possible.
I have personally battled clinical depression for most of my life, and nearly lost my battle with alcoholism three years ago. I was blessed enough to have survived (though barely), and now it is my mission to use my second chance to ensure others get theirs.
I hope you will join me in linking hearts by offering unequivocal support to those who are desperately in need of a little inspiration. Together, we will create a community of friendly faces and emotional support.
A result of the #FACEIT campaign was the idea of a centralized portal where we collate a list of service providers in one space, allowing sufferers and their loved ones to have a 'go to' platform to seek the services they need to get healthy.
This portal will continue to grow, and I hope that it is one small step to ensuring that help is universally available to anyone suffering with mental illness, addiction and post-traumatic stress.
See you on our next #FACEIT day.
With love and best wishes,
Support Programs currently mapped for Toronto, Ontario; New York, New York; London, England; Calgary, Alberta; Halifax, Nova Scotia. Coming soon: Los Angeles, California