Today I chat with Michelle Hammer. Michelle Hammer is a Schizophrenia Activist who spends her time passionately fighting stigma. Michelle is an NYC native featured in the WebMD documentary Voices, which was nominated for a Tribeca X Award at the Tribeca Film Festival 2018.
Michelle was diagnosed with schizophrenia at 22 after a misdiagnosis of bipolar at age 18. At 27, Michelle decided to use her artistic talents and fearless personality to do something that could benefit the mental health community. In May 2015, she founded a mental health-focused clothing brand.
Schizophrenic.NYC is a clothing brand with the mission of reducing stigma by starting conversations about mental health. Michelle has also been featured in many publications such as Mashable, The Daily Mail, Stylist, and Buzzfeed.
In this episode, Michelle talks about some of the experiences she had growing up with schizophrenia, how it impacted her life, how she is able to navigate through and why openly speaking about schizophrenia is so important to her.
More about her brand: Schizophrenic.NYC Mental Health Clothing Brand was created in hopes to change the way New Yorkers perceive people with mental illness. Schizophrenic.NYC donates a portion of their profits to organizations who support the mentally ill homeless. community, such as Fountain House, NYS Health Foundation, MHA-NYC, and NAMI.
The designs made by Michelle are intended to start discussions. Only through an open dialogue on mental health can we reduce stigma. At Schizophrenic.NYC they use clothing and art to get the word out about mental health awareness.