Amy Keller Laird, former magazine editor of Women’s Health and Allure, just launched Mental – a lifestyle platform that ddresses all things mental health. Amy is a strong mental health advocate who speaks openly about her OCD, and applies her knowledge of wellness and beauty products to meet the needs of individuals dealing with a variety of issues related to mental health.
Her inaugural Best of Mental Health Awards highlights 64 everyday beauty, home, and lifestyle products that serve as coping and management tools for people who deal with stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
The award-winning products help address the symptoms of common mental health challenges such as:
- Treat and cover wounds from skin picking
- Mask hair loss from trichotillomania
- Treat dry hands from compulsive hand washing
- Offset the effects of mental health meds (dry skin, sexual issues, nausea)
- Make the “get ready” process quicker and faster (when you’re feeling depressed, anxious or
- Retain hygiene (and dignity) when brushing your teeth or showering feels like too much
- Help you calm down or focus as needed
Can wellness products make you feel better when you feel you are struggling with your mental health? According to Pooja Lakshmin, M.D., clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the George Washington University School of Medicine, “Wellness products aren’t magical solutions, but they can be very practical management tools. It’s important to understand what you’re using a product for, because that allows you to develop the expectation of what it can and can’t do. A fidget spinner is not going to fix my life, but it might help with my nervous energy when I’m on a Zoom call.”
Wellness products are a huge industry and consumers care about their wellness especially when it comes to mental health. A recent wellness survey conducted with consumers in six countries showed 79 percent of the respondents believed wellness was important and 42 percent considered it a top priority.
The products in Mental’s Mental Health Awards are grouped in various categories, including:
- Don’t Tell Me To Calm Down (But I Probably Should) (HELPING: Anxiety, Stress)
- Oh Crap I Have to Go Somewhere (HELPING: Depression, Anxiety)
- I Just Cried (Or Couldn’t Sleep) (HELPING: Depression, Insomnia, Anxiety)
- It’s My Meds (HELPING: Anxiety, OCD, Depression, Bipolar Disorder)
- Keep My Hands Busy (HELPING: dermatillomania, trichotillomania, ADHD, sensory issues)
All winning products are based on scientific data, guided by experts, including psychologists and psychiatrists (from such institutions as Weill Cornell and Columbia), dermatologists, dentists, occupational therapists, ophthalmologists, makeup artists, and hairstylists; Amy’s team of editors (who are testing and sourcing products based on scientific data in over 60 journal studies); and real women with mental health conditions, including Keller Laird herself, and her co-writers who have anxiety, depression, and trichotillomania.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five U.S. adults experience mental illness and one in 20 adults experience serious mental illness, so the need for these types of products is extremely common. Keller Laird believes being “mental” is normal—and that the right lifestyle products, while never a replacement for therapy and professional treatments, can be used as daily management tools for mental health issues. She explained, “I don’t take product recommendations to the mental
health community lightly. No product is going to cure or solve your issues, but I know from research and lived experience that certain things can help you get through the day with less stress.”
The full list of winners is HERE.