Meet the BeMeBeFree Campaign, the newest initiative daring to combat teen anxiety with. . . art?
Launched Sept 5, the campaign recognized that although 20%-30% of teens face anxiety, almost half of them never report their symptoms, and are left undiagnosed and untreated. The campaign attempts to change this statistic by reaching out to teens through a platform they can relate to- creativity. By urging teens to share their personal anxiety stories through any form of creative expression, BeMeBeFree eliminates the fear behind speaking up and adds a level of comfort to getting help.
Teens are encouraged to create art, songs or poems surrounding the subject of anxiety and to share their work with the world. Not only does this allow teens to tap into and acknowledge their mental states, but it lets others know that it's okay to do the same.
Using art to draw public attention and raise awareness is a publicity trick as old as time. The campaign manipulates this strategy to its own goal: to benefit teen mental health and reduce the stigma around discussing mental illness. The submissions aim to let the public know of the challenges teens and young adults are facing and provide a safe space for open discussion about anything mental health related.
Submissions are open to anyone 12-24 until October 5th when the campaign will close. After the deadline, a team of anxiety specialists will select a submission that will be the inspiration for an original Lifetime movie. All perspectives on the issue are encouraged, whether it comes from first-hand experience or witnessing anxiety impact someone important to you. The campaign aims to evoke a diverse image of what anxiety is, as it affects everyone differently.
The brains behind the campaign is Harley Boy Innovative CEO Darryl Roberts, who runs a firm that conducts programs helping teens through the social issues they face. The inspiration for constructing this platform originated after visiting high schools across the world and noticing that many teens were suffering in silence when it came to anxiety and other mental health issues. He noted that talking about what you are going through tends to reduce the distress of the situation. He hopes that this campaign will enact a new wave in the way in which we are unafraid to discuss taboo subjects like anxiety, and open conversations about mental health are the new norm.