Why I’m Starting the Mental Health League

As many of you know, I left my life in NY a year ago to do a bit of soul searching and figure out what exactly I want to do in life.

In that time, I prototyped a variety of business ideas — a turtleneck and chain brand, an Amazon channel, and looked into the business of thrift. While I learned a lot from each and will likely re-visit a few of them later in life, none of them were quite right.

So I went back to an idea I had 4 years ago, the idea that was the reason I started working for The Elephant Pants in the first place and the idea that scares me more than anything else. I wanted to start an apparel brand to raise money and awareness for mental health — the cause that’s closer to my heart than any other.

You see in college, I was diagnosed with Bipolar type II and ADHD, and it is one of the most formative things that’s ever happened to me. I’ll save the details for other posts (Read My Journey With Bipolar Disorder” here), but in short it reshaped who I was and sent me on a lifelong journey of self-inquiry and self-improvement, one that I still continue on to this day.

With that admission, I’ve just addressed my biggest fear in starting this company, as well as the reason it needs to exist.

While 20% of US adults deal with mental health issues every year, no one really talks about it. We’re afraid of what people will think, that no one will hire us, or that they’ll just tell us to suck it up and that it isn’t real. So we keep it to ourselves and deal with it the best we can — which is a HUGE problem. If you were diagnosed with any other disease, what would happen? Loved ones would send you well wishes, take care of you, and show their support by wearing various ribbons and other symbols. Others who have gone through a similar struggle would reach out, share their stories, and give you advice. That support and care makes a huge difference in the recovery process and motivates you to keep fighting.

I think it’s time that we do the same for mental health. That’s why I’m starting the Mental Health League (MHL).

The Mental Health League

The MHL is going to raise money and awareness for mental health by creating products and content that spark conversation, show support, and motivate people to keep fighting.

As you have probably guessed, everything is going to be sports-themed. We believe mental health is a sport, every day is a game, and with the right strategy and fanbase, you can win. Now the definition of a “win” will be different for everyone, and so will the strategy, but the commonality is that there’s no off-season. You have to play 365 days a year. You won’t win every game — no athlete ever does. What’s important is that we continue playing and training to succeed the best we can.

We’re currently getting samples of our first products and plan to launch a Kickstarter in early September. To get this going, we’ll need to sell at least 330 of them. We hope you’ll be one of the first supporters.

If you want to get involved, sign up for our email list at MentalHealthLeague.com.

Then, share this post with anyone you know that is passionate about mental health.

I’m building the Mental Health League, a brand to change how we talk about mental health. Sign up for updates here!