As an organization, the Hogg Foundation is tactful about the public stands it takes. Whenever possible, we try to walk that fine line between blandly universal pronouncements (i.e. “mental health matters!”) that hardly merit an op-ed and chasing after “relevance” in a knee-jerk way. Sometimes, we find a way to overlay fresh textures on the Hogg Foundation “voice” that allow us to have it both ways: to be a little bit cutting edge while also staying true to the timelessness of our humanitarian purpose.

A good example of what I mean is this op-ed by our own Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr. that recently appeared in Health Affairs Blog. Notice anything interesting? The accompanying illustration is by Darryl Cunningham. Cunningham is a graphical storyteller whose groundbreaking work, Psychiatric Tales: Eleven Graphic Stories About Mental Illnessis an illustrated exploration of mental illness that draws on Cunningham’s own experiences working in a psych ward. Here’s a taste:

 

Psychiatric Tales coverAutobiographical page from Psychiatric Tales"Schizophrenia." Page from Psychiatric Tales

Then there’s Clay Jonathan, whose Depression Comix has found its way into our Mental Health Daily on several occasions. Here’s a recent comic:

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Here’s the scoop: we have decided to begin working with these two singular artistic talents, as well as other illustrators, on an on-going basis. The illustration accompanying the Health Affairs op-ed is a sign of bolder experiments to come. Beyond our excitement at seeing what these artists manage to come up with, we are also thrilled at the prospect of exploring new communications niches that we haven’t previously touched — indeed, that not many organizations have. In the weeks to come, you’ll be seeing essays, op-eds, and various publications adorned with evocative illustrations in multiple styles. Hopefully, it will also bring decent exposure to talented artists who are passionate about rendering mental health issues in ways both stark and humane.

 

Purchase Psychiatric Tales on Amazon!

Check out Depression Comix!