Some people need medication for their mental health. These selfies show that's perfectly OK.

What do you do when you're not feeling well? Like really, really unwell — to the point where you don't want to (or can't) get out of bed.


Poor Jake. GIF from "Adventure Time."

You probably think "It's time to go to the doctor." And once you get that sweet, sweet pain- and fever-reducing prescription, you can barely contain yourself from skipping to the pharmacy (or maybe that's just me?).

Many of us wouldn't think twice about sharing the fact that we got a prescription to help us feel like our old selves again.

But when it comes to taking medication for mental illness, there's more social stigma involved. That's why blogger Erin Jones decided to post a selfie with her prescriptions for anxiety and antidepressant medication on Facebook: to show that there's no shame in getting the help we need.

Screenshot via Mutha Lovin' Autism/Facebook.

The post spread like wildfire, and she teamed up with The Mighty to spark the hashtag #MedicatedAndMighty. Folks posted tweets and Instagram selfies (often with their medication or prescriptions) to fight the stigma around mental health meds.



Here's why this is so important: A look at 22 studies shows that one of the biggest obstacles to getting treatment and staying on medication is embarrassment and stigma.

If we remove unfair preconceptions about mental health treatment, more people will be able to live happier and healthier lives.

The popularity of #MedicatedAndMighty shows that people who take medication for mental health are far from alone.

In fact, an estimated 1 in 5 Americans take at least one mental health medication. That's more than 63 million people.



A quick look at the selfies brings home the reality that there is no "typical" person who takes mental health medication.

You can't tell whether someone takes medication for their anxiety just by looking at them. That's why this hashtag — and this movement — is so powerful. The decision to publicly share their status combats stereotypes on two levels: It shows there is no shame in having mental illness ... or taking medication for it.




Breaking the silence around mental health and medication is a win. By fighting stigma, we're encouraging people who struggle with mental illness to find the best way to get help.

The hashtag isn't about pushing everyone with a mental health issue to take medication. It is about fighting stigma and empowering people who take medication to be unapologetic and unashamed.

Because why should we be ashamed of doing what we need to be well?

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.