The news website Vice.com that covers untold stories from across the globe, looks into a growing issue in 2015: mental health. Vice has launched a new mental health campaign for 2015 titled: The Vice Guide to Mental Health uses a variety of articles to cover the topic of mental health and illnesses. The topics include severe anxiety, Obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, living with mental illnesses and many more.
With around 61.5 million people in the United States experiencing or have been diagnosed with a mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness — or NAMI — it is important people understand the facts and effects of a mental illness. Many do not understand what a mental illness can mean for the individual.
How did this start?
The idea for this guide started in the U.K. version of Vice. Eleanor Morgan, Senior Editor of Vice U.K. writes that they started this project in response to coalition initiatives of the 2015 British General Election. “The coalition government seems to have spent the last five years designing a country with which to provoke a mental health crisis, while simultaneously hacking away at the safety net you need to deal with one.” She further observed, “none of the main parties [are] pledging enough support for the ailing NHS –National Health Services– [so] we decided to highlight just how important mental health provision is.” Vice staff decided this topic was popular all across the world and decided to bring it to the United States.
The website had seen a large interest in articles on mental wellbeing. Alex Miller, Global Head of Content says, “In a way, then, this is a collection of articles we’ve been pushed toward by those young people who engage with Vice every day.” Not only does Vice cover a difficult and complicated topic, but it is able to reach out to many across the world. “And because this is such a universal issue, we’re proud to be launching it in 15 countries simultaneously, with contributions from many of our international offices,” adds Miller.
From mysterious to commonplace
New and previous generations alike, may not know who to ask about mental illnesses and some may be experiencing a disorder. What once was a mysterious and avoided topic is becoming more common. NAMI has also found approximately 43 million adults in the United States live with anxiety disorders ranging from OCD, and post-traumatic stress disorder — PTSD — to other general anxiety disorders and phobias.
The Vice guide to Mental Health is not trying to diagnose or cure any mental illness, rather to inform and share with readers what it is like to live with a mental illness. These articles and stories are a bridge leading people to understanding and help, if need be. Many of the articles have recorded accounts from real experiences that shed light on different disorders and show others with mental illnesses that they are not crazy. Some of these accounts are from the mental wellness page in the U.K. and they reach out to the reader in a gripping way. Morgan writes about what it is like to live with severe anxiety and how many can develop anxiety disorder at a very young age and not realize it.
The majority of mental illnesses have treatments available, not cures, to those who seek it. For others, post treatment therapy helps to combat manifestations of mental illness. Sharing with those around you and seeking help is the first step towards mental wellness.