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Mental Health Heroes will all GO Lime!

Cartoon-A-Thon: Humble Beginnings

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you probably know about my annual Cartoon-A-thon for Mental Health Awareness month.  Here in short is the history of the Cartoon-A-thon:

In 2008 when I started blogging, I decided to do something special for the month of mental illness awareness in May. (Will you?)  I decided I would draw a cartoon for each day of May. In 2008 and 2009, I drew just cartoons.  That was a success, but something was missing.  I felt I was being a little too self-deluded in my own cartoons. Then, I drew two of my readers into cartoon characters.

My peers were so elated that I drew them into the cartoons. Which gave me an idea –  but I didn’t think I had the skill set to even attempt this idea.

I can’t draw!

Granted, the cartoons are fun and they have brought humor to many thousands of peers. (Even though I really can’t draw) No it’s true, I’m not really that good. If you think I am, maybe it’s because you’re worse at drawing than me.  But, I asked myself, what would take the Cartoon-A-Thon into that special occasion fit for mental health awareness?

One morning after the 2009 event, I thought: if I could only draw caricatures!  Then I could draw some of my mental health peers and let them tell their recovery story!  The problem was I couldn’t draw caricatures. Thee first few I tried to draw were horrible!

So in 2009, I set out to teach myself to learn the basics of drawing a caricature, and starting with the 2010 Cartoon-A-Thon, I featured my marvelous peers, consumers, survivors and mental health professionals that are making a difference in our community!  I called them “Mental Health Heroes.”

The response was tremendous.  Even though I still can’t draw caricatures as well as I would like, I still drew 62 heroes and gave them a platform to tell their wonderful recovery stories.

Flyer: Go line for mental health

Chato’s T-shirt: Go LIME don’t be a lemon,

Behind Chato: Peer mascot in a huge line outfit

Caption: Don’t be a lemon, be a LIME for mental health awareness month!

Wearing The Lime Green Ribbon For Mental Health!

This year each of the mental health heroes will be donning a LIME green ribbon to “Go Lime” for mental health month.  The movement to put mental health in the Lime-Light started as an informal group and still holds to that format; allowing members to share their creativity and awareness at the same time.

Talking to Shannon Jacuzzi (One of the moderators of the group and as one member defined her: “THE lady behind all things lime. The grand poobah of lime-ness”) on what being part of the limelight for mental health awareness means to her.  She told me:

I would use term “lime-light” mental health. During May Mental Health Month, we can join together to lime-light mental health out of the darkness by posting a lime ribbon on our Facebook profile, make and distribute lime ribbons in our community, buy a line awareness product or something creative to visually impact others for this cause. In doing so, we hope to bring talk, mental health screening and stigma reduction into the lime-light in communities around the globe.

When we go for our annual physical they need to ck on brain organ wellness with mental health screen each and every time… The brain is a vital organ and the control center of our body…. Mental health needs to be part of overall wellness  – Lime-Light FaceBook Group

Should You Be In be The Lime-Light Group?

Lime-lighters promote mental health for all of us. Lime-Lighers remind us that there is no shame in taking care of our mental health! Lime-lighting supports persons affected or afflicted by mental illness. Seeking professional help, accurate diagnosis and ongoing treatment makes us better citizens, mothers, fathers, family members, friends and workers. A final result: stigma reduction and inclusion of mental health in overall wellness!

As we get ready for mental health awareness month, let’s make it our goal to do something special.  Whether it is to be part of a Walk-A-Thon or even a Cartoon-A-Thon, let’s do it all in the limelight and wear a T-shirt or a ribbon to share your advocacy and hope for recovery. So don’t be a lemon, be a lime for mental health awareness month!

Some Ways some TAKE ACTION:

•Promote May mental health month to your Employees
Encouraging FREE online stress and depression SCREEN especially during May Mental Health Month:  
•Display LIME-themed and stress-reducing products during May Mental Health month.
•Include mental health in corporate wellness programs. 
Provide employees with 1-8oo-Suicide prevention number.
•Consider a Cause-Related Marketing Partnership (CRM) with a mental health organization of your choosing
•Encourage your library or book stores to display mental health books
•Encourage Schools and Universities to openly discuss stress, depression and mental health issues and promote
•Ask the Media to help highlight May mental health month with stories, documentaries and Public Service Announcements
•Participate in a local walk or fund-raising event for a mental health non-profit (see NAMI Walks)
•Find a local support group or go to one and support a friend
•Consider a career in mental health


Friend me on Facebook @chato B Stewart.



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Originally Posted on YOU need permission use ©2011

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Check out who made the list of top 10….I’m number 4!
Mental Health Heroes will all GO Lime!

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).

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APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2012). Mental Health Heroes will all GO Lime!. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 1 Aug 2012
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