Since 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed every May in the U.S., with a range of events and screenings taking place across the country.
Mental health remains an important topic, with nearly one in five adults in the U.S. living with a mental illness. And as people continue to experience the effects of isolation and losing loved ones due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the issue has become even more acute. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 40% of adults in the U.S. reported struggling with mental health or substance use related to the pandemic during late June 2020.
In addition to supporting mental wellness year-round, the fashion and footwear community has launched special activations, social media campaigns and product launches that give back to mental health charities in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month.
Ahead, a range of brands and retailers taking part in the cause.
Saks Fifth Avenue
Throughout May, Saks Fifth Avenue has a range of initiatives to support mental health. Until May 11, the retailer is hosting an interactive mental health activation called “Intention Garden” on the second floor of its New York flagship store. Customers who visit the activation can set a mental health intention, write their intent on a wooden stake and plant it in the “Intention Garden.” Visitors can also write a postcard, which will be will be stamped and mailed by Saks, to someone who has helped them along their mental health journey.
The retailer also sent a gift box to influencers and friends, encouraging them to write their own mental health intentions and pot them with the wildflower plant and tools provided. In May, Saks will highlight these individuals unboxing and assembling their “Let It Go and Let It Grow” kits on the retailer’s Instagram account.
Additionally, the Saks will feature tips for maintaining mental wellness through content on its site. These tips will be provided by experts from nonprofit partners of the Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation — which aims to make mental health a priority in every community — including Bring Change to Mind, The Trevor Project, Girls Inc. and Columbia University’s Department of Psychiatry. Additionally, customers can donate to the Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation on saks.com/MentalHealth throughout May.
Del Toro’s new collaboration with Los Angeles-based artist Alli Conrad will benefit mental health research. 25% of profits from the collaborative chukka shoe will be donated to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation to help find ways to alleviate suffering caused by mental illnesses. Available May 1 on deltoroshoes.com, the collaboration highlights Del Toro’s White Leather Chukka featuring Conrad’s signature Groovy Baby Navy Blue design hand-painted on the style. It will retail for $595.
Korean-owned athleisure brand Mono B is donating 10% of all sales to the Asian Mental Health Collective throughout the month of May, in honor of both Mental Health Awareness Month and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
Kenneth Cole continues its ongoing work to support mental wellness through its Mental Health Coalition. Founded last May, the organization is a collection of mental health organizations, brands and individuals — including celebrities and business leaders — whose main goal is to remove stigmas around mental health and provide people with the resources they need. The coalition works with mental health nonprofits including American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Bring Change to Mind, Child Mind Institute, Crisis Text Line and The Trevor Project.