Understanding Each Other is a social enterprise bringing greater awareness to people’s mental health challenges through clothing. Our mission is to help people feel more comfortable talking about their mental health and any difficulties they may be facing – we are all in this together.
We start our journey of breaking down social barriers with t-shirts and tote bags.
Profits from each bit of merch will be donated to a different charity, those include Shout, Cybersmile, AKT, Mental Health Foundation and Young Minds. Profits will also go towards making podcasts and documentaries about mental health. One day we hope to be in a position to open up safe spaces for people to come, relax and be able to openly talk about their mental health.
We would like to curate monthly meet-ups to bring these conversations together and we want to host panels and events that bring these stories to light.
We will use environmentally friendly production methods where possible, our t-shirts and tote bags have the Earth Positive tick and our mailing bags are made from recyclable materials.
All of our clothing is gender-neutral.
My name’s Kenya and I'm the founder of Understanding Each Other. My personal experiences led me to begin thinking about what I could do to help others with their mental health struggles. Unfortunately, I’ve experienced depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, self-harm and suicidal thoughts. Although these never truly go away, I now have no fear or shame in sharing my experiences thanks to therapy and the incredible group of people I am surrounded by.
When I discuss my issues I find that most people have also been through similar periods in life where they have found it difficult to make sense of their mental health. After all, one in four of us endure mental health difficulties and, ultimately, we ALL have mental health. It’s just a question of how we manage it. People share their stories with me because I was open with them but they feel like they can't be open with other people and that breaks my heart.
Now, why is that? Why is it that people have to suffer in silence? Why are people too ashamed to open up?
It's fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, fear that people won't understand or won't even care.
But some people do care, there are people out there willing to listen and to learn. If we can work to help people to build that inner confidence and assure them it's okay to open up about our troubles to others, we can do anything! What if a small gesture like wearing a t-shirt could help break down those barriers?