A US Brand Is Being Put On Blast For Releasing A Line Of ‘Mental Illness’ Necklaces

Are they turning mental illness into a fashion statement?

Popular US lifestyle brand Bando has released a line of ‘mental health’ necklaces emblazoned with the words ‘Depression’, ‘Anxiety’ and ‘Bipolar’.

Bando founder Jen Gotch, who suffers from Bipolar Disorder, released the nameplate-style necklaces to “serve as a conversation starter for people to be more open about what’s going on in their minds.”

Sold on the website for $48 (€41), the gold and silver pieces donate 100% of all proceeds from the line to Bring Change to Mind, an organization that aims to end the stigma surrounding mental health.

Despite this, people were not happy with the brands use of mental illness to sell necklaces:

The brand itself responded, reiterating that all of the necklace’s profits are going to charity, and that the cause of mental health is particularly close to their founder’s heart.

The necklaces were also given celebrity endorsement from actress and friend of founder Jen Gotch, Busy Phillips, who posted a photo of herself wearing the anxiety necklace. Busy has spoken out about her struggles with anxiety, especially after she had her eldest daughter.

My beautiful friend @jengotch made @shopbando necklaces with @theiconery. One says Anxiety and one says Depression. The proceeds from the necklaces are going to @bringchangetomind, a non-profit whose goal is to destigmatize mental illness. I used to feel so isolated & alone about my anxiety- especially after Birdie was born. But finally I started talking about it and I decided to be open on social media & my @nodocspodcast about my struggles. Talking about these things helps. At least I know it’s helped me. And if it helps someone else to hear it in that moment, that’s great, too. I’m proud to wear my anxiety around my neck for everyone to see. I work very hard daily to push through it and not let it get the best of me. Some days it does, some days it doesn’t. But really, truly, I know now even when I’m in it, I’m not alone. ?

A post shared by Busy Philipps (@busyphilipps) on

Is it raising awareness or is it a step too far?

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