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Brief Published: 8 Jun 2021

Beauty Brands Unite for Mental Health Awareness

National Alliance on Mental Illness, Beauty Cares

American mental health organisation National Alliance on Mental Illness (Nami) has formed a coalition with a range of beauty brands for its Beauty Cares campaign. Launched during US mental health awareness month (May 2021), the campaign intends to raise awareness around mental illnesses and position beauty brands as stigma-free leaders.

The movement follows an emerging trend of progressive alliances in the beauty industry around important social issues (see The Brief). A full day of Instagram livestreaming took place on May 20, with conversations centred around empowerment, self-expression and navigating a new normal post-pandemic from US-based beauty brands including Philosophy, Rare Beauty, Benefit Cosmetics and Loum Beauty. The campaign hopes to generate a shift in how brands market their products and communicate with consumers to destigmatise mental health.

“We wanted Nami to lean into building a movement, because we felt like a movement really has action,” said Katrina Gay, Nami’s interim chief development officer. “While there were brands that embrace many other causes, we didn’t understand why not mental health, and it was because of the stigma and stereotypes”.

As we explore in The Silent Pandemic: Mental Health & Covid-19, the disruptions of lockdown have caused significant psychological and emotional turmoil across various demographics, provoking a new wave of brands fostering open conversations around mental health. With suicide being the second leading cause of death in the Gen Z community (CDC, 2019), it is more important than ever for brands to use their platforms to normalise mental health discussions and promote the healing power of human connection.

For more on how beauty brands can play a role in consumer wellbeing, see Stress-Busting Beauty and for opportunities in the wellbeing wave, see Five Wellness Trends to Watch 2021.