We create bite-sized, easily digestible content to raise awareness of the attitudes that fuel mental health discrimination and gender-based violence that are #notokay.
We are led by
#NotOkay is founded by Candice Alaska, who has lived experience with Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Anxiety, ADHD, and gender-based violence.
We use graphics, videos, blog posts, and our website to raise awareness of mental health stigma and gender-based violence to change the attitudes that fuel both of these things. We also send messages to people living with mental illness or survivors of abuse from other persons who have been there to let them know that they are not alone-- an act in itself that can be life-saving.
A word from
You can get so used to something you don't realize it's not okay.
It's been a long, long time in getting here, Trinidad and Tobago. But here we are.
We have normalized insensitivity, ignorance, and apathy in our society. The idea that it's okay to call someone struggling with depression 'weak' or let them know that they 'should just get over it' or they 'too happy' is part of why we're losing people to depression.
The idea that it's okay to blame abuse victims for the abuse they receive: 'you shoulda know better', 'that's just how some men are', 'what you do to get him vex?', 'you need to calm him down', 'well, you get him vex in the first place', is part of why gender-based violence in our country is climbing.
The idea that it's okay to laugh at somebody for taking medication for mental illness or privately scorn them or keep our distance from them, is part of why many people feel ashamed to take medication for their mental health conditions.
The fact that it's okay to refer to mental institutions as 'madhouse', to hearing voices and having hallucinations as 'mad people thing', to mental health medication as 'mad people tablets', is part of why when the people we love live with a mental health condition, they lack the support they need to get better.
The fact that it's okay to say about someone who's suicidal that they 'just looking for attention' and refuse to be kinder towards them and less judgmental is part of why suicidal people can feel even worse in their lowest moments.
It's #notokay. None of this is okay.
And we don't even have to make big changes to take our country in a different direction. All we have to do is learn, educate ourselves, and then have the courage and compassion to stand up and say, no, this is #notokay. Our silence will only validate these attitudes, that may or may not affect you-- but definitely affect people around you.
After all, it's our little attitudes that lead to headline news.
- Candice Alaska, founder, The Not Okay Movement.