How One Mom's Brave Selfie Started a New Kind of Mental Health Movement
When Erin Jones posted a selfie to her Facebook page last week, she was just being her usual open self. Jones often shares her journey as a mother to four children with special needs, and as a person on the autism spectrum with multiple chronic illnesses, anxiety and depression.
It wasn’t just an ordinary selfie — it was a photo to mark a momentous event in Jones’ life with mental illness. After nearly 14 years of dealing with anxiety and depression without medication, Jones finally decided to seek help. She snapped a picture with her prescriptions.
Jones feels it’s important to share her journey with others.
“Over the last few years of me opening up about my mental health, I have people constantly, privately and online, coming up to me saying, ‘Your honesty gets me through the day. Knowing I’m not alone, that my child is not alone, sustains us,’” Jones told The Mighty via Facebook message. “Just be honest about who you are. There’s a healing in it.”
After The Mighty published an article about Jones’ medication selfie on Wednesday, September 2, Jones received hundreds of messages from people thanking her for saying what they needed to hear. Jones estimates that she’s heard from at least 50 people who’ve told her they’ve filled a prescription, made an appointment to see a doctor or otherwise sought help because of her message.
“To know that by just being honest about my shortcomings, all of these people are receiving the help they need, is very humbling and overwhelming,” Jones told The Mighty.
After sharing her article, Jones noticed people were posting photos of themselves with their medication in the comment section on Facebook. It gave her the idea of starting a hashtag for people to share their medication and prescription selfies, and after collaborating with The Mighty, she started the hashtag #MedicatedAndMighty.
— Olivia (@nenfeataiko) September 4, 2015
#MedicatedAndMighty has created a space for people to talk about their medication and help erase the stigma surrounding asking for help in the form of a prescription. For Jones, it’s also a reminder of the strength in community and the power of solidarity.
“That’s what this is all about,” Jones told The Mighty, “standing together.”
— Alicia Hendley (@AliciaHendley) September 7, 2015
— Kristin Lee (@Tweet_KLee) September 4, 2015
— Brittany Allan (@brittanyyallann) September 3, 2015
— Mandalorian Warrior (@kjennifer70) September 3, 2015
In support of Mutha Lovin’ Autism and Sammiches & Psych Meds Liam and I are sharing our pic.Yes, i got his permission….