Wear Your Happy: Mental Health Awareness Week.

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and if you didn’t know that mental well being is the foundation of why I talk passionately about Wear Your Happy (to anyone who’ll sit still long enough)then do read on.

I was fortunate and grateful to be asked by Community Creator, Eli Trier to contribute my thoughts on community for her wonderful project Reclaiming Community which ran every day during April.

In true Karen the Perfectionist fashion, I procrastinated until I became tired of my own BS and could put it off no longer. So, on a gloriously sunny Easter Sunday, on a long walk to visit my eldest daughter (who rewarded me with homemade deliciousness), I parked myself firmly on a vacant bench and started speaking into camera.

I talk about my journey from teacher to fashion designer, my experience with poor mental (and physical) health and how I discovered the power of fashion to lift my mood. I hope some of this resonates with you.

1:20s - Beginnings.

2:13s - Leaving teaching

2:30s - Diagnosis.

4:38s - Entering therapy

5:36s - Being invisible

cinema is a matter of what's in the frame and what's out-1.png

6:30s - Aunt Monica

7:24s - Discovering Wear Your happy

8:04s - Why purple?

...try to dress the way that you WANT to feel, as opposed to the way that you feel at the time.
— Karen Arthur. April 2019

13:58 Being authentic.

15:31 Wear Your Happy LIVE!

I sometimes find it hard to believe that the taboo around talking about mental health issues still exists in the 21st century. But I know, from experience that, once Depression takes hold, it can take all your strength to speak up. When I was ill, I honestly thought that I was alone. I didn’t want to burden anyone, especially those closest to me, with my ‘problems’. But I found, once I summoned up the courage (and it IS courage, make no mistake) to seek help, there were, and are, so many people travelling the same path. ALL of them scared and thinking the same thing.

We all have clothing in our wardrobe that has a history and will have some happy memories
— Karen Arthur

The statistics are stark. Mental health issues are not going away any time soon. But removing the stigma and realising that reaching out is BRAVE and makes you STRONG is a start. Salute to MHAW but let’s keep that conversation going long after it ends.

I still struggle with my mental health on occasions but no longer every day. And Depression is a memory that I revisit when I share, only because I feel so strongly that no one should suffer alone. Fashion and Wear Your Happy is my small way of doing so. I hope that it helps you too.

Thoughts? Comment below or send me an email.

P.S. Wear Your Happy LIVE! A vibrant evening with Karen Arthur (me) is on Saturday 15th June. It will be a celebratory and nurturing event with women at its centre. Join us at a fabulous new venue Brown and Green LIFE in Crystal Palace, London and wearing YOUR happy. You will meet like minded soul and be given the opportunity to be heard in a safe environment. It’s going to be SO GOOD I’m beyond excited! hope to see you there.

K x