“You shouldn’t be sad, cheer up!”
It’s interesting how such a well meaning sentiment can be so upsetting and generally insensitive. Unfortunately, this is still a typical reaction for many people when trying to offer help to people suffering from mental illness. While we have made many leaps and bounds as a society in understanding and dealing with mental illness, there still seems to be so many holes in the support offered to sufferers. I don’t know about you but I can’t just “Barney Stinson” my wellness.
While I don’t want to come off as ungrateful for these people’s efforts, it is time to understand that this mindset is not helpful. What is helpful is having a large, understanding support network that can suggest healthy ways of coping while also assuring you that it’s ok to be sad. Sound like something you’d be interested in? Then welcome to The Sad Ghost Club. We have our own jackets.
According to their website, The Sad Ghost Club is a “club for anyone who’s ever felt sad or lost. It’s the club for those who don’t feel like they’re part of any other club.” Run by friends Laura Cox and Lize Meddings, the club has grown exponentially over the last few years, from a simple regular comic to merchandise, apparel and workshops, all promoting mental health.
“If you’ve ever felt sad then you’re automatically a member. Absolutely everybody can be a part of the club,” Lize and Laura say, “it’s a club for people who may not feel happy right now.” The aim of the club is to promote positive awareness of mental health in a society where admitting you’re sad is often taboo. This network is therefore hugely important for people who need a safe space to express themselves rather than bottling everything up. Their workshops focus on easy tips and tricks to boost your mood and encourage positive thinking and they have support from a number of large mental health charities. And their clothes are SO cute: here are my top picks
- This amazing patch so that even your denim jacket can join the club
- This cute print on making friends! (a sample of the series)
- This dope tote
- This beanie that I would absolutely wear every day of my life and it would become sort of weird but no one would really feel comfortable mentioning it (BECAUSE IT’S SO CUTE!)
If you’re stuck feeling blue just remember you’re not alone. You can find support at The Sad Ghost Club site or Tumblr here as well as many other online professional therapy sites such as Beyondblue, Lifeline and Black Dog Institute.