Scarlet Curtis Announces Mental Health Anthology

Scarlet Curtis is a feminist and activist who, with Grace Campbell, Honey Ross and Alice Skinner, founded the Pink Protest and #FreePeriods Movement. Last year, she also published a book titled Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and other lies): Amazing women on what the F-word means to them. 

Her first curated book is a collection of essays, writings and poetry from 52 women on what the word feminism means to them, tackling a whole range of themes including the taboo of periods, feminism in the Muslim community, the transgender community, and the idea that feminists can’t be stereotypically feminine.

Now, Scarlet Curtis has announced another book on the horizon, this time about another subject close to her heart, mental health. In an Instagram post, Curtis explained the inspiration behind It’s Not OK to Feel Blue (and other lies). She wrote, “When we were touring with Feminists Don’t Wear Pink, the thing that came up again and again was women struggling to manage their mental health under the patriarchy. Mental Health is not a ‘one size fits all’, it’s an intersectional issue that morphs itself depending on race, gender, sexuality, disability, class age.”

Curtis, who has openly spoken about her struggle with mental health on numerous occasions, added, “I think more than anything I made this book for myself. Not for me now but for 19-year-old me. The me that decided she didn’t want to be alive anymore. The me that felt so alone. The me that felt so ashamed.”

It’s Not OK to Feel Blue will follow in the footsteps of Feminists Don’t Wear Pink, as a collection of writings this time not on feminism but essays “by 75 people on what on earth ‘mental health’ means to them.”

Contributors will include; Junior Doctor turned writer and author of This Is Going to Hurt Adam Kay, Singer-songwriter Sam Smith, clinical psychologist Tanya Byron, comedian and actress Miranda Hart, writer, silversmith and Syrian refugee Steve Ali, and author of Queenie Candice Carty-Williams.

In her Instagram announcement, Scarlet Curtis explained the importance of this book, “We all have a mental health. I don’t think I quite realised the extent to which that statement is true until I read the essays in this book. This book is many things but more than anything it’s a love letter to humanity, it is a SHOUT, a scream into the noise that let’s everyone know they are not alone, it is a safety net, showing young people that what they’re going through isn’t something to be afraid of. My hope is that it will speak to those who’ve been suffering for years and those who just don’t quite feel right.”

Curtis ended her post with this statement, “More than anything, this book is a puzzle piece of the global movement that is working to dismantle the shame around mental illness and tell everyone ‘going through something’ that they are not alone. I really, really hope you like it.”

It’s Not OK to Feel Blue (and other lies): Inspirational People Open Up About their Mental Health curated by Scarlet Curtis will be published on 3rd October this year by Penguin Hardbacks. 10% of the RRP price of each copy sold will be donated to the mental health charity, SHOUT, the UK’s first 24/7 text crisis helpline in partnership with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

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