Powerful Photo Campaign Challenges the Way We Often Portray Depression


Think of the image you see most often associated with mental illness. Is it a picture of a person sitting in the dark, holding his or her head in their hands? If you answered yes, you’re not alone — a quick Google image search of the terms “depression” and “anxiety” turns up almost exclusively pictures of people sitting in the shadows clutching their heads or grimacing, white-knuckled at the camera. But that’s merely a stereotype.

The U.K.-based mental health advocate organization Time to Change recently launched Get the Picture, a movement that works to stop these overused, stigmatizing photos by providing alternatives that depict real people living with mental illnesses.

“People with mental health problems don’t look depressed all the time,” its website reads. The campaign uploaded a broad selection of high-resolution photos of people with mental illness in realistic poses and situations: at work, sitting together and smiling. The photos are free to download and can be published alongside stories and features.

So instead of seeing pictures like this:

450153013

We can start seeing pictures like these:

An employee speaks to his employer about getting support for depression.

A young mother suffering from post-natal depression

A one to one therapy session takes place.

An office worker at a photocopier with a sign saying 'anxiety'.

Hear more about this awesome campaign from the people who are involved in it in the video below.

To participate in the campaign, upload a silly “headclutcher” selfie and tweet it with #GoodbyeHeadclutcher.

Want to end the stigma around mental illness? Like us on Facebook.

And sign up for what we hope will be your favorite thing to read at night.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Depression

When Being a Father Pulled Me Out of Depression

Fifteen years ago, I was diagnosed with clinical depression. It crept up on me over time during the collapse of my first marriage to my high school sweetheart, which eventually led to separation and divorce. Bit by bit my happiness and ability to cope with day-to-day life started to wane. Things that used to make [...]

When I Realized Having a Mental Illness Doesn't Mean I'm Crazy

There’s a rhyme to every reason and a reason to every rhyme. I wasn’t given an outstanding singing voice at birth (Or so I’ve heared. I beg to differ — especially when I’m belting out to Beyoncé in my car) because I wasn’t meant to be a top-charting pop star. Sam Smith, on the other [...]

How a Trip to My Gynecologist Made Me Face My Depression

This is a little tale from me about the time my Pap smear led to a talk about Prozac. I will admit it. There are times I don’t talk about autism or our connection to it at all — mainly because where or what I’m doing doesn’t warrant a need for the discussion, and I kind [...]

My Child Has Clinical Depression

My daughter is only 8 years old, and she has clinical depression. It was not shocking to hear the therapist say it after a long process of evaluations, but it was still hard to hear. She’s so young. What did I do wrong?  Is it my fault? Is she not happy with our family? Did her [...]