With 40 million Americans over the age of 18 affected by anxiety — roughly 18 percent of the nation’s population, this definitely impacts many of us in our day to day lives. And even though more and more people are speaking out about having anxiety or depression (Major Depressive Disorder affects over 16.1 million American adults, or about 6.7% of the U.S. population age 18 and older) there can still be a lot of shame around these conditions. That is why this jewelry collaboration from Ban.do founder Jen Gotch and jewelry line Iconery to make a line of necklaces that want you to forget about the stigma of mental illness.
The Jen Gotch x Iconery collection necklaces are simple and 14K yellow gold vermeil with either the word "Anxiety" or "Depression" spelled out for you to proudly display around your neck. Gotch, who has been very open about her own struggles with mental health issues, said in a statement, "One thing we can all do is work to remove the stigmas associated with mental illness. These necklaces are a step in doing that and I hope they can also serve as a conversation starter for people to be more open about what’s going on in their minds."
The proceeds from the two necklaces, which are sold out at the moment, will be donated to the nonprofit Bring Change to Mind, an organization working to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Actress Busy Phillips, a friend of Gotch's, shared a picture of her wearing the "Anxiety" necklace on Instagram and wrote, “I’m proud to wear my anxiety around my neck for everyone to see,” Philipps says. “I work very hard daily to push through it and not let it get the best of me day. Some days it does, some days it doesn’t. But really, truly, I know now even when I’m in it, I’m not alone.”
You may be scared to wear the necklace at first, but eventually you may find that it is opening up conversations you never thought you would have. Gotch told WWD, “What I found was just this overwhelming response of people wanting to talk about it and getting clarity for themselves about what they’re struggling with.”