Graphic art can be an incredibly powerful vehicle for fighting stigma when it comes to trauma, mental health, and resilience. With a combination of compelling words and vivid images, graphic artists are able to regain a greater sense of control and mastery over their experience, begin to find their own healing, build resilience, and connect to others.
In an interview with The Mighty, graphic artist Lawrence Lindell, author of the comic book I Couldn’t Afford Therapy, So I Made This, noted that he decided to explore mental health through a comic book “because he literally couldn’t afford therapy, but also because he has a mistrust of people who haven’t gone through what he has telling him how to cope with it.”
Lindell’s work also touches on the very real disparities facing people of color, when it comes to mental health and access to quality and culturally competent services. When asked how he wants people to feel when they read his book, he told The Mighty, “Relieved. Loved. Encouraged. That they are not alone.”
Another function of graphic art is that it can skillfully use humor to dispel stigma. British illustrator Gemma Correll began to create illustrations based on her own lived experience as well. “The illustrations were all inspired by my own anxieties and neuroticism. I suffer from clinical anxiety and depression and I find that the best way to deal with it is to find humor in it,” Correll told Mashable. “I honestly think that humor can be a savior at times of distress or, if you just live with a constant level of anxiety and depression like I do.”
If you’d like to learn more about these two artists, and many others who are using their creativity to stop stigma and bring hope, humor, and healing to the public conversation, check out these resources below. Enjoy!
- Lawrence Lindell Couldn’t Afford Therapy, So He Made a Comic Book(The Mighty)
- Humorously Relatable Illustrations Display the Reality of Living with Anxiety and Depression (My Modern Met)
- 6 Comics about Mental Illness (Book Riot)
- 70 Best Mental Health Comic Images (Pinterest)
- Graphic Medicine: The Interaction of Comics and Health Care