I have had conversations about this when it relates to child abuse as well. What company wants customers to associate their name with child abuse, after all? But this is also true:
It’s far easier to tell an inspiring brand story about investing in children’s education, or saving the environment than it is to talk about anxiety or depression. As brands, we’re incentivized to maximize for the brand, not for impact on a standalone basis.
So, when the idea to invest in men’s mental health was first brought to my attention, I hesitated.
Do we want to be a brand that’s associated with suicide?
First, good for Andy, and Harry’s, for doing it anyway. But, more importantly, how do we as a society get past this? What is it about us that values companies that “do good”, but only certain kinds of good, and not the kind that helps the people who may most desperately need it? When suicide rates are at an all-time high, and we continue to learn more and more about the dreadful effects childhood trauma has on our adult lives, and the community those lives exist within, how can we continue to hide our heads in the sand and demand that brands not “bring us down” by talking about that stuff.
What does that say about us, and our priorities? Nothing good, that’s for sure.