In 2007, Frank Warren created a blog that showcased people’s deepest, darkest secrets on handmade postcards. To combat the culture of shame around the stigma of mental illness, Post Stigma is hoping to follow PostSecret’s lead.
According to its site, Post Stigma is “a community art project inspired by PostSecret and Laing House’s YouthSpeak program.” Anyone can participate in the project by sending in a homemade postcard with a secret related to the stigma and experience of mental illness. People can submit secrets online or via snail mail.
Leanne Smith, one of the founders of the project, said she remembers the first time she was called “crazy” by a store clerk. She said she “started to realize that stigma was woven into everyday life, but for some reason people were afraid to talk about it.”
Katherine Taylor, the graphic designer working on the project, said that they don’t want people to “have to be silent anymore — that’s the biggest shame. We don’t want you to hide the fact that you’re suffering. … We want you to be able to speak out.” Because “not everyone’s good at verbalizing their feelings,” she feels that art is a good place for people to start. She adds that “hopefully in doing that, people will be able to maybe express themselves without fear someday.”
Here are some notes that are already up on the site:
This month is National Mental Health Awareness Month. If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental illness, please know you are not alone and that there is help. You can find resources at Half Of Us or in the action widget below.