Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The color blue for promoting mental health initiatives

The breast cancer community has done a terrific job of decreasing stigma, raising funds for research and treatment, and increasing awareness using the color pink in marketing and promotional campaigns. We should learn from them.

Mental health is as important an issue for women -and men, but less well publicized. I would propose we use blue as a color for mental health in marketing and promotional campaigns, for exactly the same reasons as in breast cancer- to decrease stigma, raise funds and increase awareness.

In popular culture, blue has already been associated with depression (“having the blues”), or it’s opposite (“blue sky thinking”). It is a soothing color that may decrease anxiety and increase cognition. So the full triad of major mental health domains (anxiety, mood and cognition) can be linked to blue and be well represented by it. There is some research supporting its use as well:

Who wants to help promote this? Email us and spread the word.

Alexander B. Niculescu, MD, PhD