By: Eryn Pinksen
Two long distance friends, Zoë Andison and Eli O’Donnell, a NAIT student, used their creativity and their support for each other to find a way to help others.
Together they created the Midnight Crisis Club with the slogan “Progress is Possible”. With Andison’s ‘dark doodles’—as she calls them—printed on coloured shirts, they sell them and give 100% of the profits to the Canadian Mental Health Association.
The two friends would call each other late at night because of their busy schedules to provide support and they coined the idea of having a “midnight crisis”. They wanted to find a way to spread awareness about teen mental health in an approachable way.
“Some parents don’t understand either, I’ve known a lot of kids my age who are hurting themselves and doing awful things because their parents refused to take them to a therapist because they think it’s not real, that they’re just being overdramatic or going through a phase,” said Andison.
Addison explained that their goal is to provide a place for a bigger community to let young people know they are a team and a community.
“We’re a club,” said O’Donnell.
Andison drew a few figures, then O’Donnell gave them names and associated them to the characteristics of different mental illnesses.
“I wanted to make them relatable. People care more about characters than images. We have Allen who’s an alien, he feels ‘out there’ and alone and alienated. We’ve got Harvey and she has anxiety really bad, so bad that it eats away at her and that’s why her one arm is skeletal. There’s also our mascot brand logo, Lune … she’s a moon that encompases us and mental health as a whole,” said O’Donnell.
Currently they only advertise their products on Instagram, but have plans to expand. They launched the page in November and have already begun to raise money for the Association.
“A lot of people, especially when they’re really going through the worst times, they believe there’s nothing there. That’s the end. That’s where it stops. But it gets better, it’s completely possible to get better,” said Andison.
With ideas for more characters in the future, the goal is to create different series on mental illnesses or phobias and they hope to be able to pick new charities every month.