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Using Social Media to Fight Stigma

KMart is Krazy 150I made some “noise” (using social media to fight stigma) early in February with a post entitled, “Kmart Stigmatizes Children With Mental Illness – Selling Offensive T-shirts.” It took off through social media when a few big twitter peeps picked up the ball.

The retweets spiked with the image I took of the t-shirts. Thanks to the Founder and President and Host of The Coffee Klatch* who brought the problem right to the source…@Kmart!!

You can read about Kmart’s response and see some photos of the t-shirts below. While I don’t want to beat a dead horse; Kmart did remove the sale of the shirts from their website!

I also wanted to share an article from the Northern Illinois University Campus Northern Star newspaper (www.northernstar.info).

The stigma surrounding mental health got national attention in September of last year when Kmart circulars featured a line of girls tee shirts with graphics that said things like, “Gone crazy, back in five minutes,” and “I’m not crazy, my imaginary friends can prove it.”

One blogger in Florida posted a picture of the ad and mounted an online campaign asking Kmart to remove the items.

“A lot of people think it’s stigmatizing just to wear a shirt like that, and a lot say it doesn’t matter,” said Chato B. Stewart, illustrator and blogger at mentalhealthhumor.com. “When it affects a child, whether they know it or not, that’s where I draw the line and that’s why I picked up the ball on this.

In response to Kmart’s T-Shirt designs poking fun at going crazy, Stewart took screenshots of the ad, wrote a blog, posted it to Twitter and Facebook, called the company, made contact through Kmart’s social networking sites and eventually managed to attract attention from other online commentors. On Feb. 23, he received a direct tweet from Kmart saying that the shirts had been removed.

Read the full article by Mary Diamond:  “Say It Out Loud aims for mental health dialogue

At that, I will put the Kmart t-shirts to rest.

@Kmart responded On Twitter:

Kmart Stigmatizes Children With Mental Illness – Selling Offensive T-shirts image2Kmart Stigmatizes Children With Mental Illness – Selling Offensive T-shirts image3

Kmart Stigmatizes Children With Mental Illness – Selling Offensive T-shirts image4Kmart Stigmatizes Children With Mental Illness – Selling Offensive T-shirts image2Kmart Stigmatizes Children With Mental Illness – Selling Offensive T-shirts image5

*credit:
Digital photos taken by Chato Stewart holding the 2/19 Kmart flyer.
 
**The Coffee Klatch is an interactive forum on Blog Talk Radio and Twitter bringing guests including award winning authors, psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, advocates, celebrity activists and representatives from the world’s most respected children’s foundations.

Friend me on Facebook @chato B Stewart.

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Using Social Media to Fight Stigma

Chato Stewart

Chato Stewart has a mission, to draw and use humor as a positive tool to live, to cope with the debilitating effects symptoms of mental illness. Chato Stewart is a Mental Health Hero and Advocate. Recovery Peer Specialist board-certified in Florida. Chato is the artist behind the cartoons series Mental Health Humor, Over-Medicated, and The Family Stew - seen here in his blog posts. The cartoons are drawn from his personal experience of living with bipolar disorder (and other labels). [email protected]


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APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2012). Using Social Media to Fight Stigma. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 20, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/humor/2012/03/using-social-media-to-fight-stigma/

 

Last updated: 26 Mar 2012
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 26 Mar 2012
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.