Michelle Hammer

@michelle-hammer | contributor
Michelle Hammer is the creator and founder of Schizophrenic.NYC a Mental Health Clothing Line in NYC that is trying to reduce and end stigma in the great city of New York

Governor Cuomo Calls President Trump 'Schizophrenic' in News Briefing

Living in New York City these days has meant living in fear. One constant has been the daily briefings from New York’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo gives an update about new cases of COVID-19 in the city and information about how New Yorkers can stay safe. All in all, he has been great during this crisis, until he made an offensive statement in a reply to the President. It started on Monday, when President Trump said during a news briefing, “When somebody is President of the United States, the authority is total, and that’s the way it’s got to be. It’s total. It’s total. And the governors know that.” Responding to this comment, Governor Cuomo said in his own briefing, “It makes no sense, it’s schizophrenic.” Gov. Andrew Cuomo: "We didn't have King George Washington and we don't have #KingTrump." pic.twitter.com/sW5pNyUeQG— The Hill (@thehill) April 15, 2020 What do we think Governor Cuomo was trying to describe about President Trump? Was he using a medical diagnosis as an insult? Was he using my medical diagnosis as an insult? Schizophrenia presents itself in both “positive” and “negative” symptoms. Negative symptoms include having a “flat affect,” reduced feelings of pleasure in everyday life and difficulty beginning and finishing tasks. In the category of positive symptoms — like highly exaggerated ideas, and perceptions or actions that show the person can’t tell what’s real from what isn’t — there is a symptom called grandiosity. A person with grandiose delusions often believes they have absolute power or inflated influence. But this definitely does not mean President Trump is schizophrenic, and this isn’t an excuse for what Cuomo said. He is the governor of all of the people of New York State, and shouldn’t be creating more stigma in society. He’s also not a mental health practitioner so he’s in no position to diagnose anyone. Even if he was a doctor, mental illness should not be used as an insult or a slur. There have been times when I have walked down the city streets and have overheard people describe their bosses as “crazy and bipolar.” I’ve also heard people say, “Oh I hate this schizophrenic weather!” When people in authority use mental illnesses as an insult, it makes people think that it’s OK to use mental illness as an insult. This is something that needs to stop. As a New Yorker with schizophrenia, Cuomo’s comment felt like a slap in the face. Mental illnesses should never be used to describe someone negatively. What the Governor did was create even more stigma for the schizophrenia community. Being schizophrenic, stigma is everywhere. Our Governor is an educated, wealthy and powerful man, and he should know better than throwing some of his city’s most vulnerable under the bus. I fight hard as a mental health advocate and with my company Schizophrenic.NYC to show people that anybody you know can have schizophrenia (or any mental illness) and live a completely productive and successful life. I talk to New Yorkers about this all the time. When I reveal that I have schizophrenia, I am often told by the person I am speaking with that either they have a mental illness, a friend has a mental illness or a family member does.People with mental illness already have to fight so much stigma. We don’t need people in power making it harder. So let’s do better. Concerned about coronavirus? Stay safe using the tips from these articles: Which Face Masks Prevent Against Coronavirus? How Is the New Coronavirus Treated? How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer What You Should Know About Social Distancing During COVID-19 8 Soaps You Can Use to Help Prevent the Spread of Illness 10 Face Masks People With Chronic Illness Recommend

Governor Cuomo Calls President Trump 'Schizophrenic' in News Briefing

Living in New York City these days has meant living in fear. One constant has been the daily briefings from New York’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo gives an update about new cases of COVID-19 in the city and information about how New Yorkers can stay safe. All in all, he has been great during this crisis, until he made an offensive statement in a reply to the President. It started on Monday, when President Trump said during a news briefing, “When somebody is President of the United States, the authority is total, and that’s the way it’s got to be. It’s total. It’s total. And the governors know that.” Responding to this comment, Governor Cuomo said in his own briefing, “It makes no sense, it’s schizophrenic.” Gov. Andrew Cuomo: "We didn't have King George Washington and we don't have #KingTrump." pic.twitter.com/sW5pNyUeQG— The Hill (@thehill) April 15, 2020 What do we think Governor Cuomo was trying to describe about President Trump? Was he using a medical diagnosis as an insult? Was he using my medical diagnosis as an insult? Schizophrenia presents itself in both “positive” and “negative” symptoms. Negative symptoms include having a “flat affect,” reduced feelings of pleasure in everyday life and difficulty beginning and finishing tasks. In the category of positive symptoms — like highly exaggerated ideas, and perceptions or actions that show the person can’t tell what’s real from what isn’t — there is a symptom called grandiosity. A person with grandiose delusions often believes they have absolute power or inflated influence. But this definitely does not mean President Trump is schizophrenic, and this isn’t an excuse for what Cuomo said. He is the governor of all of the people of New York State, and shouldn’t be creating more stigma in society. He’s also not a mental health practitioner so he’s in no position to diagnose anyone. Even if he was a doctor, mental illness should not be used as an insult or a slur. There have been times when I have walked down the city streets and have overheard people describe their bosses as “crazy and bipolar.” I’ve also heard people say, “Oh I hate this schizophrenic weather!” When people in authority use mental illnesses as an insult, it makes people think that it’s OK to use mental illness as an insult. This is something that needs to stop. As a New Yorker with schizophrenia, Cuomo’s comment felt like a slap in the face. Mental illnesses should never be used to describe someone negatively. What the Governor did was create even more stigma for the schizophrenia community. Being schizophrenic, stigma is everywhere. Our Governor is an educated, wealthy and powerful man, and he should know better than throwing some of his city’s most vulnerable under the bus. I fight hard as a mental health advocate and with my company Schizophrenic.NYC to show people that anybody you know can have schizophrenia (or any mental illness) and live a completely productive and successful life. I talk to New Yorkers about this all the time. When I reveal that I have schizophrenia, I am often told by the person I am speaking with that either they have a mental illness, a friend has a mental illness or a family member does.People with mental illness already have to fight so much stigma. We don’t need people in power making it harder. So let’s do better. Concerned about coronavirus? Stay safe using the tips from these articles: Which Face Masks Prevent Against Coronavirus? How Is the New Coronavirus Treated? How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer What You Should Know About Social Distancing During COVID-19 8 Soaps You Can Use to Help Prevent the Spread of Illness 10 Face Masks People With Chronic Illness Recommend

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How I’ve used art to express my journey with schizophrenia and reduce

Artistic creation can offer people living with mental illness an outlet to describe their journeys. Schizophrenia advocate Michelle Hammer uses art to start conversations about the disorder to help eradicate stigma. Find out how others living with schizophrenia are using art to tell their authentic stories here, and read Michelle’s story below. Ten years ago, I bought a sketchbook and markers. I had the sliver of an idea and wanted to see where it took me.  During that summer, I started drawing detailed abstract designs using random colors — whatever fanciful beauty entered my mind and could be brought to life on paper. I didn’t realize it at the time, but drawing was helping calm me.  The more anxious I was, the more detailed the drawings would be. That summer, I drew endlessly until my sketchbook was completely filled with colorful and detailed sketches. These pieces of art would become so much more than I originally intended. I took my sketchbook and brought it to my computer. Because of my graphic art background, I was able to layer the images I had created, change colors, apply various styles, and all the design magic that I could think of. Before I realized it, I had turned the doodles in my sketchbook into amazing pieces of artwork. This changed the trajectory of my life. Now, I’ve created artwork that has sold all over the world. Advocating for Others Through Schizophrenic.NYC Three-and-a-half years ago I started a mental health clothing line. I named my company Schizophrenic.NYC because I’m from New York City and I’m not ashamed I live with schizophrenia. I’m proud to say this company was started by a “schizophrenic girl.” For my product and clothing line, I used the black Rorschach Test as my inspiration.  In my experience, when a person living with schizophrenia looks at this image, they see it from a different perspective than someone without schizophrenia. So, I changed around the colors and patterns and now everyone has to look at it from a different perspective. This forces people to think differently, and more importantly, start a conversation.  I believe that only through an open dialogue about mental health can we reduce or even eradicate stigma. Because NYC is tourist destination and because I’m at conferences all over the country, I get to interact with people from all over the world when displaying my products and clothing. I believe that people want to talk about mental illness — they just don’t know how. In addition to my art, I’m lucky to be able to talk so openly about mental illness through my advocacy efforts and on my podcast, A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. Talking openly about schizophrenia, creating my artwork and clothing, and advocating has been an incredible journey. Through thousands of social media comments, hundreds of emails, and more one-on-one conversations than I can count, I’ve learned that everyone agrees there needs to be more understanding and education surrounding mental illness. I believe that, working together, we can achieve that — one conversation at a time. Michelle is partnering with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., to share her story. She has been paid an honorarium for her time.

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How I’ve used art to express my journey with schizophrenia and reduce

Artistic creation can offer people living with mental illness an outlet to describe their journeys. Schizophrenia advocate Michelle Hammer uses art to start conversations about the disorder to help eradicate stigma. Find out how others living with schizophrenia are using art to tell their authentic stories here, and read Michelle’s story below. Ten years ago, I bought a sketchbook and markers. I had the sliver of an idea and wanted to see where it took me.  During that summer, I started drawing detailed abstract designs using random colors — whatever fanciful beauty entered my mind and could be brought to life on paper. I didn’t realize it at the time, but drawing was helping calm me.  The more anxious I was, the more detailed the drawings would be. That summer, I drew endlessly until my sketchbook was completely filled with colorful and detailed sketches. These pieces of art would become so much more than I originally intended. I took my sketchbook and brought it to my computer. Because of my graphic art background, I was able to layer the images I had created, change colors, apply various styles, and all the design magic that I could think of. Before I realized it, I had turned the doodles in my sketchbook into amazing pieces of artwork. This changed the trajectory of my life. Now, I’ve created artwork that has sold all over the world. Advocating for Others Through Schizophrenic.NYC Three-and-a-half years ago I started a mental health clothing line. I named my company Schizophrenic.NYC because I’m from New York City and I’m not ashamed I live with schizophrenia. I’m proud to say this company was started by a “schizophrenic girl.” For my product and clothing line, I used the black Rorschach Test as my inspiration.  In my experience, when a person living with schizophrenia looks at this image, they see it from a different perspective than someone without schizophrenia. So, I changed around the colors and patterns and now everyone has to look at it from a different perspective. This forces people to think differently, and more importantly, start a conversation.  I believe that only through an open dialogue about mental health can we reduce or even eradicate stigma. Because NYC is tourist destination and because I’m at conferences all over the country, I get to interact with people from all over the world when displaying my products and clothing. I believe that people want to talk about mental illness — they just don’t know how. In addition to my art, I’m lucky to be able to talk so openly about mental illness through my advocacy efforts and on my podcast, A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. Talking openly about schizophrenia, creating my artwork and clothing, and advocating has been an incredible journey. Through thousands of social media comments, hundreds of emails, and more one-on-one conversations than I can count, I’ve learned that everyone agrees there needs to be more understanding and education surrounding mental illness. I believe that, working together, we can achieve that — one conversation at a time. Michelle is partnering with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., to share her story. She has been paid an honorarium for her time.

Sponsored by

How I’ve used art to express my journey with schizophrenia and reduce

Artistic creation can offer people living with mental illness an outlet to describe their journeys. Schizophrenia advocate Michelle Hammer uses art to start conversations about the disorder to help eradicate stigma. Find out how others living with schizophrenia are using art to tell their authentic stories here, and read Michelle’s story below. Ten years ago, I bought a sketchbook and markers. I had the sliver of an idea and wanted to see where it took me.  During that summer, I started drawing detailed abstract designs using random colors — whatever fanciful beauty entered my mind and could be brought to life on paper. I didn’t realize it at the time, but drawing was helping calm me.  The more anxious I was, the more detailed the drawings would be. That summer, I drew endlessly until my sketchbook was completely filled with colorful and detailed sketches. These pieces of art would become so much more than I originally intended. I took my sketchbook and brought it to my computer. Because of my graphic art background, I was able to layer the images I had created, change colors, apply various styles, and all the design magic that I could think of. Before I realized it, I had turned the doodles in my sketchbook into amazing pieces of artwork. This changed the trajectory of my life. Now, I’ve created artwork that has sold all over the world. Advocating for Others Through Schizophrenic.NYC Three-and-a-half years ago I started a mental health clothing line. I named my company Schizophrenic.NYC because I’m from New York City and I’m not ashamed I live with schizophrenia. I’m proud to say this company was started by a “schizophrenic girl.” For my product and clothing line, I used the black Rorschach Test as my inspiration.  In my experience, when a person living with schizophrenia looks at this image, they see it from a different perspective than someone without schizophrenia. So, I changed around the colors and patterns and now everyone has to look at it from a different perspective. This forces people to think differently, and more importantly, start a conversation.  I believe that only through an open dialogue about mental health can we reduce or even eradicate stigma. Because NYC is tourist destination and because I’m at conferences all over the country, I get to interact with people from all over the world when displaying my products and clothing. I believe that people want to talk about mental illness — they just don’t know how. In addition to my art, I’m lucky to be able to talk so openly about mental illness through my advocacy efforts and on my podcast, A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. Talking openly about schizophrenia, creating my artwork and clothing, and advocating has been an incredible journey. Through thousands of social media comments, hundreds of emails, and more one-on-one conversations than I can count, I’ve learned that everyone agrees there needs to be more understanding and education surrounding mental illness. I believe that, working together, we can achieve that — one conversation at a time. Michelle is partnering with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., to share her story. She has been paid an honorarium for her time.

Sponsored by

How I’ve used art to express my journey with schizophrenia and reduce

Artistic creation can offer people living with mental illness an outlet to describe their journeys. Schizophrenia advocate Michelle Hammer uses art to start conversations about the disorder to help eradicate stigma. Find out how others living with schizophrenia are using art to tell their authentic stories here, and read Michelle’s story below. Ten years ago, I bought a sketchbook and markers. I had the sliver of an idea and wanted to see where it took me.  During that summer, I started drawing detailed abstract designs using random colors — whatever fanciful beauty entered my mind and could be brought to life on paper. I didn’t realize it at the time, but drawing was helping calm me.  The more anxious I was, the more detailed the drawings would be. That summer, I drew endlessly until my sketchbook was completely filled with colorful and detailed sketches. These pieces of art would become so much more than I originally intended. I took my sketchbook and brought it to my computer. Because of my graphic art background, I was able to layer the images I had created, change colors, apply various styles, and all the design magic that I could think of. Before I realized it, I had turned the doodles in my sketchbook into amazing pieces of artwork. This changed the trajectory of my life. Now, I’ve created artwork that has sold all over the world. Advocating for Others Through Schizophrenic.NYC Three-and-a-half years ago I started a mental health clothing line. I named my company Schizophrenic.NYC because I’m from New York City and I’m not ashamed I live with schizophrenia. I’m proud to say this company was started by a “schizophrenic girl.” For my product and clothing line, I used the black Rorschach Test as my inspiration.  In my experience, when a person living with schizophrenia looks at this image, they see it from a different perspective than someone without schizophrenia. So, I changed around the colors and patterns and now everyone has to look at it from a different perspective. This forces people to think differently, and more importantly, start a conversation.  I believe that only through an open dialogue about mental health can we reduce or even eradicate stigma. Because NYC is tourist destination and because I’m at conferences all over the country, I get to interact with people from all over the world when displaying my products and clothing. I believe that people want to talk about mental illness — they just don’t know how. In addition to my art, I’m lucky to be able to talk so openly about mental illness through my advocacy efforts and on my podcast, A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. Talking openly about schizophrenia, creating my artwork and clothing, and advocating has been an incredible journey. Through thousands of social media comments, hundreds of emails, and more one-on-one conversations than I can count, I’ve learned that everyone agrees there needs to be more understanding and education surrounding mental illness. I believe that, working together, we can achieve that — one conversation at a time. Michelle is partnering with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., to share her story. She has been paid an honorarium for her time.

Sponsored by

How I’ve used art to express my journey with schizophrenia and reduce

Artistic creation can offer people living with mental illness an outlet to describe their journeys. Schizophrenia advocate Michelle Hammer uses art to start conversations about the disorder to help eradicate stigma. Find out how others living with schizophrenia are using art to tell their authentic stories here, and read Michelle’s story below. Ten years ago, I bought a sketchbook and markers. I had the sliver of an idea and wanted to see where it took me.  During that summer, I started drawing detailed abstract designs using random colors — whatever fanciful beauty entered my mind and could be brought to life on paper. I didn’t realize it at the time, but drawing was helping calm me.  The more anxious I was, the more detailed the drawings would be. That summer, I drew endlessly until my sketchbook was completely filled with colorful and detailed sketches. These pieces of art would become so much more than I originally intended. I took my sketchbook and brought it to my computer. Because of my graphic art background, I was able to layer the images I had created, change colors, apply various styles, and all the design magic that I could think of. Before I realized it, I had turned the doodles in my sketchbook into amazing pieces of artwork. This changed the trajectory of my life. Now, I’ve created artwork that has sold all over the world. Advocating for Others Through Schizophrenic.NYC Three-and-a-half years ago I started a mental health clothing line. I named my company Schizophrenic.NYC because I’m from New York City and I’m not ashamed I live with schizophrenia. I’m proud to say this company was started by a “schizophrenic girl.” For my product and clothing line, I used the black Rorschach Test as my inspiration.  In my experience, when a person living with schizophrenia looks at this image, they see it from a different perspective than someone without schizophrenia. So, I changed around the colors and patterns and now everyone has to look at it from a different perspective. This forces people to think differently, and more importantly, start a conversation.  I believe that only through an open dialogue about mental health can we reduce or even eradicate stigma. Because NYC is tourist destination and because I’m at conferences all over the country, I get to interact with people from all over the world when displaying my products and clothing. I believe that people want to talk about mental illness — they just don’t know how. In addition to my art, I’m lucky to be able to talk so openly about mental illness through my advocacy efforts and on my podcast, A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. Talking openly about schizophrenia, creating my artwork and clothing, and advocating has been an incredible journey. Through thousands of social media comments, hundreds of emails, and more one-on-one conversations than I can count, I’ve learned that everyone agrees there needs to be more understanding and education surrounding mental illness. I believe that, working together, we can achieve that — one conversation at a time. Michelle is partnering with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., to share her story. She has been paid an honorarium for her time.

Instagram Limits Use of #Schizophrenic Hashtag

Instagram recently blocked recent posts from showing up for many mental health-related hashtags like #suicide, #cutting and #schizophrenic. As an advocate, I question why we are blocking the language — and therefore the discussion — surrounding mental illness at all. But, as a schizophrenic, I’m deeply concerned that Instagram determined my illness is offensive, inappropriate and/or triggering. In my research, I noticed that the hashtag “schizophrenia” is still allowed. I do have schizophrenia but — on Instagram — I’m not permitted to be schizophrenic. This is an odd distinction to draw and I suspect the well-intentioned, yet terribly misinformed, people behind person-first language have influenced this decision. I’m sure many people consider limiting the words people can use to openly discuss mental illness a victory. But I don’t. Because it’s another barrier to discussion, education and ultimately understanding. I want to openly discuss schizophrenia because I’m a schizophrenic. I don’t understand what rules I have to follow outside of being respectful to my fellow Instagrammers. Blocking the word “schizophrenic” has now let everyone know that the illness I live with is offensive and triggering. People are afraid of asking questions for fear they will be labeled as rude, stigmatizing or discriminatory. I have no doubt Instagram believes they helped people like me today, and I am equally sure people will claim victory over limiting the ways people can access information and education about mental illness. As a person who lives with schizophrenia or as a schizophrenic — your choice — I can tell you with absolutely certainty that this did nothing to make my life better. I will never understand why we argue over this nonsense about the right language. When can we talk more about access to healthcare instead? This piece originally appeared on Schizophrenic.NYC. Check out Michelle’s podcast, “A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast,” here.

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How I Opened Up About My Schizophrenia Diagnosis – and Started Helping

Hi, I’m Michelle Hammer, a schizophrenic girl living in NYC. I created and founded the mental health clothing line Schizophrenic.NYC. At this point in my life, I consider my symptoms to be under control, but it was quite a challenge getting to this point. In college, I was on the lacrosse team and that helped get me through. I felt like people depended on me. My coach knew about my struggles living with a mental disorder and tried to help me the best she could. She even helped me keep track of my treatment plan at the time. She kept me balanced. After college when I found out I had schizophrenia at age 22, I was pretty bummed out. I felt like I had a secret I could never tell anyone. One evening I had dinner with my best friends from college and I decided to tell them. I said, “Hey guys, just wanna let you know I found out I’m schizophrenic.” And their response was, “Wasn’t that what you had the whole time?” “That could have not been more obvious.” “Yeah, we told you that.” I thought: They just knew because I lived with them, right? Well, then I told a lacrosse teammate I was schizophrenic and she said, “Yeah I could have told you that three years ago.” No shock to her either. These interactions really helped me accept I had schizophrenia because if my best friends already guessed it, and they were still friends with me, then I shouldn’t care about any negative reactions I get from other people. It’s now been over eight years since my schizophrenia diagnosis. I’ve learned to accept it and embrace it. I follow a treatment plan and I’m OK with that. I started my company Schizophrenic.NYC because it’s been reported that one in five New Yorkers live with some type of mental illness. Walking down New York City streets, it’s not hard to see someone homeless who may also have a mental illness. This upsets me. Why? Because I have schizophrenia and I’m not homeless. Fortunately I am lucky enough to have support from my friends, my family and my doctor that makes it possible for me to live a “normal” life. Without their help I could easily be less fortunate. So I decided I wanted to give back. I wanted to start a company that could start a conversation about mental illness as well as help out people with mental illness and eradicate the stigma of mental illness. At my pop-up shop I’ve met people from all over the world who have connections to mental illness: Either they have a mental illness, a friend does, a family member does, or they work in the mental health field. Often, I have long conversations with people about mental health and the stigma encompassing it. Only through an open dialogue about mental illness can we reduce its stigma. So let’s do it. Let’s work to end the stigma surrounding mental illness. I’m proud to speak up and make a difference – share your own story on social media with #ICanWithSchizophrenia. Michelle Hammer is partnering with Janssen Pharmaceuticals to share her story. She has been paid an honorarium for her time.

Companies and Gifts That Support the Mental Health Community

Tis the season to be giving gifts, but just because you’re shopping for your family and friends doesn’t mean you can’t support the mental health community too. Here are 10 companies which feature either products created by people living with mental illnesses or use part of their proceeds to support mental health causes. 1. Schizophrenic.NYC  Schizophrenic.NYC is a line of mental-illness-themed clothing, accessories and artwork, designed by the line’s founder Michelle Hammer, who lives with schizophrenia. Hammer donates a percentage of Schizophrenic.NYC’s proceeds to mental health charities such as Fountain House, NYS Health Foundation, MHA-NYC and the New York chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – so not only will you look good, you’ll be supporting some great causes too. Perfect for: Fashionable family members, friends living with a mental illness, your therapist, and art aficionados. Our picks: “Bleach” PillBox, Don’t Be Paranoid Tote Bag, Don’t Be Paranoid T-Shirt. Products ship nationwide throughout the U.S. 2. Sad Ghost Club Sad Ghost Club, started by Lize Meddings and Laura Cox, is a club for anyone who feels sad, lost or like they don’t fit in. The club started several years ago with a series of mental health inspired comics, and has since branched out to include accessories, stationary and clothing items. Proceeds from the Sad Ghost store help fund mental health workshops around Bristol, U.K. where Meddings and Cox are from. With wonderfully designed products like these, the recipient of your gift is sure to be the raddest ghost in town. Perfect for: Friends managing depression or anxiety, your very hip niece, ghost enthusiasts and that friend who loves Snapchat a little too much. Our picks: Cute Badges, Hopeful Postcard Pack. Products ship throughout the U.K. and internationally.     3. TheLatestKate Missing that holiday cheer? Look no further than Kate Allan and her brightly colored animal designs. Allan draws motivational comics for people living with depression and anxiety. The majority of her designs feature brightly colored images with motivational quotes that contrast the negative thoughts many people with anxiety and depression experience. Perfect for: Animal lovers, the grandkids and that friend who needs a little extra love and encouragement. Our picks: “Depression Lies” Galaxy Bat Travel Mug,“You Can Survive Anything” Tree Sticker, “All We Can Do is Move Forward” Night Sky Stag Shirt. Products ship nationwide throughout the U.S. 4. To Write Love on Her Arms To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to spreading hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. Known for their trendy apparel, you’ll find t-shirts and sweatshirts featuring strong messages in bold lettering. “Every piece of merchandise has a much bigger purpose. It’s a conversation starter. It’s something that ties supporters together as a community,” they write on their site. Perfect for: Your teenage daughter or son, your friend who’s nostalgic for Warped Tour, anyone who can never have enough t-shirts. Our picks: Bloom Shirt, Hope Is Real Dove Shirt, Camp Mug. All products ship internationally. 5. BuddyBox If you can’t see your loved ones this holiday season, consider sending them a hug in a box. Blurt, a U.K. nonprofit organization that works to increase awareness and understanding of depression, offers BuddyBoxes, which they describe as a “hug in a box.” Boxes can be purchased as either a one-time order or recurring subscription. The boxes are designed to promote self-care and are inclusive, gender neutral and ageless. In addition to sending a hug, you’ll also be helping Blurt fund their peer support program. Perfect for: Your secret Santa, friends and family who live out of town, college students and anyone who could use less stress in their life. Our picks: BuddyBox or BuddyBox Lite. Products ship throughout Europe and internationally. 6. We Are Lions Looking for a gift for the person who has everything? Buy them something from the We Are Lions store, which features the work of artists living with mental illnesses and disabilities. Original artwork is printed on men and women’s apparel as well as household items. We Are Lions shares 50 percent of its profits with its artist and nonprofit partners. Rather than supporting big businesses, you’re shopping small and supporting individual artists – that’s an original gift worth giving. Perfect for: Vegans, tough to buy for family and friends, your child’s teacher, new homeowners and your partner. Our picks: Windy City Pussy T-Shirt, Dog Tote Bag, I Like Art Pillow. All products ship internationally.   7. Depressed Cake Shop You might know the Depressed Cake Shop from their pop up shops that sell delicious (and sad) baked goods all across the country. The merchandise they sell on their website is just as sweet. Buy a cupcake t-shirt to satisfy your sweet tooth for the time being, and sign up to get updates about when a shop pops up near you. All proceeds go to different mental health charities. Perfect for: Your friend who has a sweet tooth, anyone who needs a big mug for coffee, the co-worker who always brings baked goods into the office. 8. A Donation to a Mental Health Nonprofit A donation to a nonprofit organization is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. Whether it’s a local nonprofit or one that operates nationwide, every donation –no matter how big or small – is appreciated. And, with a donation, you don’t have to worry about ordering the wrong size. Perfect for: Everyone. Our picks: National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health America, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, International Bipolar Foundation and Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. This list was originally published on November 26, 2016 and was updated on November 17, 2021.