Hanky Panky, Peacelove Team Up To Support Mental Health Month
May was Mental Health Month, and nearly a quarter of the American population suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder. From anxiety, dementia and depression to bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and PTSD, there are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness that affect the human brain.
Mental Health America has designated this year’s theme as “Life with a Mental Illness” and calls on individuals to share what life with a mental illness feels like for them through words, videos and pictures and by tagging their social media posts with #MentalIllnessFeelsLike.
Hanky Panky, the influential lingerie and sleepwear brand known for its designs and “lace butter” thongs, is also raising awareness in a unique and valuable way. The company has teamed up with Peacelove Studios to create artistic prints on select thongs, boyshorts and camisoles. The eye-catching hearts and bright backdrop is a nod to Peacelove’s logo and artistic approach through canvas painting.
Peacelove is cofounded by Jeff Sparr, a mental health advocate, teacher and self-taught artist who has battled Obsessive Compulsive Disorder much of his life.
In his early 20s, Jeff’s mind was being overtaken by unwanted, irrational thoughts, and he was quickly diagnosed with OCD. A friend later recommended painting as an outlet to reduce his anxiety and improve his mood. This method worked, and Jeff soon shared this method with the children and staff at Butler Hospital, where he was both a patient and board member. Upon sharing his experience with hundreds of adults and kids over two months, Jeff witnessed first-hand the healing power of the arts.
Photo credit: Peacelove Studios
Fast-forward to 2009 and Jeff was on a mission to make mental illness cool. Not cool to have, but cool to support. Since the studio’s inception, through the sale of merchandise and the support of its partners, Peacelove has provided over 30,000 experiences to communities across the country, of which nearly 20,000 have been provided for free. These programs strive to inspire, educate and build self-confidence through creative expression, inclusion and a message of hope.