It’s time for a personal confession: I’ve been losing sleep over this campaign.
For me, this Kickstarter is about more than how many dollars we can raise to put life-saving AFK Rooms in convention spaces, and how many we can add in the future. For me, this is about whether or not Take This has a future — at all. And how bright it can be.
My wife Susan, my friend Mark, and I started Take This because we were tired of losing friends to depression. We wanted to make the world better for people dealing with mental health issues. And we have, in our small way. But we keep losing people just the same. Last week we lost a wonderful ally in the fight against stigma. These diseases are relentless, and they make people feel like they’re alone and that no one understands. It’s a feeling that’s as wrong as it is pervasive. We have to do more.
For five years, Take This has survived on a little luck and a lot of momentum. But the time when we can count on both is at an end. This campaign (in both of its iterations) represents the first time we’ve asked you, our friends and supporters, for direct financial aid. The response has been enormous. You’ve helped us ensure we will have AFK Rooms at four of our events this calendar year, and we can’t thank you enough. But those events are just a fraction of where we’re needed.
There are dozens of major events every year. And many of the people who run those events have begged us for help. Not just in providing calming spaces where attendees can take a break and get help, but in making those entire events more mentally healthy and welcoming. Right now we have to say no more than we say yes, and it’s not because we don’t want to help. It’s because we can’t afford to.
My dear friends, Take This is our way, as a community, to stand together to fight the feeling that we’re all on our own in this fight. And it is a fight. Every friend we lose to mental illness is another note of despair for the rest of us who struggle. And I include myself in that. We have to fight back that darkness with hope.
Stand with us now. Help fund our fight, and in doing so, tell the world that hope is real, hope matters, and hope helps. Help us help others. Help us keep the hope Take This represents alive. Give what you can. Share the word. Tell the people and companies you know how much this means to people who struggle, and how much it would mean to you to see them stand with us.
We can’t fight the stigma of mental illness alone. We need your help, right now, to keep the fight going. It’s dangerous to go alone.