What a time to talk about mental health, right? While nothing that has happened in the past nine months should be boiled down to “Oh no, 2020 strikes again!”, it certainly has been a tough nine months. We’ve seen the world shut down from the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve come together to protest police violence and mourn the losses of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others as the Black Lives Matter movement grows stronger. We’ve prepared for disaster as the ever-growing effects of climate change manifest in wildfires and hurricanes. All of that on top of everything happening in our personal lives. It feels like tragedy and after tragedy every time we turn on our phones and televisions, and it has had an effect on our collective mental health. That’s exactly what we’re here to talk about in Shattering Stigmas 2020.
So what is Shattering Stigmas and how can I participate?
Shattering Stigmas is an annual blogging event that began in 2015 with Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight and has since found a new home on Taylor Tracy’s blog. While the event has evolved and expanded in many ways, it has always been a place to continue conversations around mental illness, especially in the online book community. Through book reviews, discussion posts, sharing stories, and so much more, the co-hosts of Shattering Stigmas welcome guest posters onto their blogs to talk about mental health and their own experiences.
This year Shattering Stigmas 2020 will run from November 7th to the 21st. As always, we are looking for guest posters to join us on those days as we talk about mental health. So if you’re a blogger, BookTuber, Bookstagrammer, writer, reader, or a human being with something to say on the matter, we would absolutely love to have you join us! Posts for this event include but are not limited to:
- Book reviews — If there’s a book with MI rep that you’ve been waiting for an excuse to gush about, here is your chance! Come tell us all about it.
- Discussion posts — These posts are meant to introduce a topic and begin a conversation in the comments. So if you have a book you’d like to discuss or and aspect of mental health that you’d like to start a conversation about, this would be a great post format for you. We especially want to encourage discussion and hear what your thoughts are on how mental health intersects with race, queerness, disability, religion, and other aspects of life.
- Q&A’s — Especially for authors! This event is rooted in the book community and we’d love to hear your experiences and promote your book(s).
- Lists — Do you have a top ten books with MI rep by authors of color? Or seven books with incredible anxiety rep? Let us know! Even lists that aren’t specifically about books (like apps, reminders, coping strategies, etc.) are welcome.
Interested but not sure what you would like to talk about? You can check out posts from Shattering Stigmas 4.0 and Shattering Stigmas 5.0 at the respective links. Still not solid on an idea and want to talk something out? Please reach out to me. I’d love to help you bring your idea to fruition. I would also like to point out here that we are particularly interested in posts about the intersection of mental health & illness with other marginalized identities based on race, ethnicity, religion, disability, neurodiversity, etc.
If you would like to participate in this event, please reach out to me on Twitter, Instagram, or email. I’ve looked forward to this event each year since I got involved in 2018 and I can’t wait to hear from all of you!
This year, we are making an effort to make Shattering Stigmas more diverse on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality orientation, disability and neurodiversity than it has been in the past. The goal of Shattering Stigmas is to offer a space and time to people to continue and raise the volume on discussions regarding mental health and illness, especially but not exclusively in the kidlit space, in order to advocate for empathy, compassion and action breaking down the stigmas against mental illness.
In 2020, this event will also strive to provide a more inclusive space for people to discuss how mental health, mental illness and stigma differs for various populations due to one or more of the following marginalizations: race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, neurodiversity and disability.
In order to provide this space, our goal is that at least 50% of all recommendations will be books by and participants will be people of color and at least 75% of all recommendations will be books by and participants will be members of at least one of the above marginalizations.
This year we are making a conscious effort to put actions to our intentions and help broaden our conversations regarding mental health by giving the (virtual) microphone to as many types of experiences as possible.
A Final Note
Because we are an event run by a handful of bloggers and YA authors, we unfortunately cannot pay our contributors and rely on the generous donation of people’s time and emotional efforts to have this event and hopefully help continue the conversation around mental health and mental health representation in our community. However, this year we want to put action to our advocacy efforts and will be encouraging people who engage with Shattering Stigmas content to donate to one of the following non-profit organizations that strive to provide affordable access to therapy, particularly for Black women and Queer/Trans People of Color:
- The Loveland Foundation
- National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network
- Therapy for Black Girls
- Open Path Psychotherapy Collective
You can read more about the event in the original announcement on Tay’s blog. As always, feel free to reach out to me or Tay with questions, comments, and suggestions.
Take care of yourself, friends 🧡