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Fashion & Beauty, Life

New Canadian brand challenges the conversation around mental health

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Catriona Hughes Feb 28, 2019 10:59 am 1,189

Mental illness is something that indirectly affects all Canadians at some point, whether it’s through a family member, friend, or colleague. And in any given year, one in five people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Torontonian Megan te Boekhorst has lived with mental illness for nearly a decade. In that time, she has experienced discrimination from people she loves, people she admires, and people who you never expect it from.

“But the more I shared my story, the less I allowed their discrimination to impact me and hurt me. Over that time, I’ve observed a change in the way we talk about mental illness,” Megan te Boekhorst tells Daily Hive.

“We’ve gone from essentially ignoring our mental health completely and speaking of illness in shame, to mental health becoming ‘trendy’ in a sense and generally agreeing to #endthestigma on mental illness.”

For these reasons, te Boekhorst feels its time we move the conversation on mental health and mental illness forward. She has designed a collection of apparel and accessories to ignite this shift in conversation — One in Five Apparel.

 

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“Our collection invites meaningful conversation without labelling or defining the wearer.”

The Torontonian believes that, as a society, we need to “better understand the realities of living with mental illness” and how it shows up in the lives of “one in five Canadians every year.”

Through its design and its online resources, te Boekhorst explains that One in Five Apparel is empowering the wearer to change the conversation on mental health and the preconceived notions of what mental illness looks like.

 

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The newly-launched brand is funding The Living With Scholarship, which will be awarded to a 2020 high school graduate who explores mental illness through a creative lens.

“Creativity is a core value of One in Five and we truly believe that, when youth are empowered with the right supports and tools, they can affect real change,” adds te Boekhorst.

 

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The One in Five Apparel founder is looking forward to growing the brand, adding new products, and introducing new ways to wear the collection.

“As we shift from agreeing to end the stigma to finding commonalities with what is, in reality, our shared experiences, we will begin to see actual change in how we perceive mental illness within our culture. Which is the first step to addressing the gaps in health care for those living with mental illness,”  te Boekhorst concludes.

Check out the brand on Instagram and help change the conversation around mental health.

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