Mental Health Awareness: Love Yourself
May is Mental Health Awareness month. This month increases awareness of trauma and its impact on children, families, and communities' physical, emotional, and mental well-being. While it may seem like a new trend to you, Mental Health Month has actually been around for quite some time as it was established in 1949.
In the last twenty years, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and other groups within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have made sizeable efforts in increasing the importance of understanding both prevention and treatment of mental health problems.
At OLIPOP, we recognize that supporting your mental health means something different for everyone. And after everything that occurred in 2020, we have doubled down on our mission to spread the importance of mental health and why it should be a priority. Now, more than ever, we need to be aware of our mental health's significance in our overall well-being.
That's why we partnered with our friends at the apparel company, Love Yourself. Based in Detroit, Love Yourself is a mental health awareness initiative founded by Maher Hachem, aka "Munch," in 2017. Munch uses love yourself to bridge the gap between his music and the importance of raising awareness surrounding mental health. After an exhausting day and realizing the substantial impact pick-me-ups have, Munch created the marquee "love yourself" as a design printed backward to create a simple reminder whenever one looks in the mirror. Every year, Love Yourself donates a percentage of its sales to mental health organizations. Since their founding, they have contributed to The Wolverine Support Network, To Write Love On Her Arms, & The Trevor Project.
In honor of mental health awareness, we sat down with the founder of Love Yourself, Maher Hachem, and learned about his brand, how they support mental health, his journey, and resources we can share.
What is Love Yourself?
Based in Detroit, Love Yourself is a mental health awareness initiative founded by Maher Hachem, aka "Munch," in 2017. Munch uses love yourself to bridge the gap between his music and the importance of raising awareness surrounding mental health. After an exhausting day and realizing the substantial impact, pick-me-ups have Munch created the marquee "love yourself" as a design printed backward to create a simple reminder whenever one looks in the mirror.
Every year, Love Yourself donates a percentage of its sales to mental health organizations. Since their founding, they have contributed to The Wolverine Support Network, To Write Love On Her Arms, & The Trevor Project.
What’s the mission behind the brand? How did it get started?
- Love yourself is the mental health brand that I started after graduating from the University of Michigan in 2017. As a musician, I wanted to create merchandise that was bigger than slapping my name on a shirt. After constantly searching for an idea, it finally came to me after having a mentally exhausting day. I was surrounded by all my friends getting crazy jobs in LA in New York and I just wanted to stay in Detroit and be able to create. During this time, I noticed little pick-me-up‘s helped a lot in terms of making my day better so I wanted to create one that would make me smile anytime I looked in the mirror! The mission is to provide a little reminder to love yourself anytime you look in the mirror (with our reverse logo) and to just a create fun clothing line that helps break the stigma around mental health.
What was your personal journey around mental health and well being?
- I never knew I wanted to be working around mental health, it happened very serendipitously. As I said I was having a really long, mentally challenging day and I wanted to create some thing for me that would help pick me up when I needed it. Once I made my first shirt, I then realized the impact it would have on others after having friends, family, and strangers asking me where they could buy a shirt. Couple that with losing a few friends to their own battles with mental health, I truly believe love yourself has given me a new purpose in life.
What do you do to support your mental health and well being?
- In terms of supporting my own mental health, I found that it’s important to have resources as well as activities that help put me in a better space. From being around family to working out to getting active and playing basketball with friends, anytime I feel down I usually try and find a way to occupy myself and surround myself with people that care about me. Also since love yourself is my full-time job (it’s not a job if you love what you do ), any time we make a new piece it truly feels like I’m making an impact on another person. it’s more than making clothes, it’s creating a connection and community that welcomes anyone from any different background.
How does affirmation play a role in mental health?
- I fully believe affirmation plays a huge role in mental health! For me, speaking things into existence plays a huge role in holding myself accountable. As a musician, before the pandemic, anytime I would be performing I would start off by having the crowd close their eyes and I would lead them through a simple mantra. “Tonight I will be present, I will treat the people around me with love and respect, And I will live in the moment.” I know it sounds cheesy, but it feels like when you speak something you start holding yourself accountable to those words. A lot of our clothing pieces have positive affirmations on them because you never know who’s going to read it, where they’re going to read it, and how it’s going to impact them after that!
What resources are out there that can support others on their mental health journey?
- There are a ton of resources out there for people to find help with their mental health. If you’re looking for something specific, here’s a link to a page on our site that has tons of different organizations that are there to help you. I’ve come to learn that treating my mental health like a muscle and continuously working on it has put me in a better place.
Resource link: www.loveyourselfclothing.com/pages/resources
- Youth.Gov. “May Is National Mental Health Month.” Accessed May 26, 2021. https://youth.gov/feature-article/may-national-mental-health-month.
- May is Mental Health Awareness month and it raises awareness of the importance of understanding, preventing and treating mental health problems.
- OLIPOP recognizes that supporting your mental health means something different for everyone and wants to raise awareness of our mental health's significance in our overall well-being.
- Love Yourself created the marquee "love yourself" as a design printed backward to create a simple reminder whenever one looks in the mirror.
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