a silhouetted figure hugging another silhouetted figure with a cracked-open head

This Zine Has Issues #1 STIGMA: Breaking the Stigma of Mental Illnesses

by Dave Combs Author

Let’s face it: there’s a ton of stigma around mental illnesses. Sharing stories is finding freedom from the stigma and creating power with unified voices. In this way, we help others feel less alone. 

Making zines is therapy while doing advocacy work and breaking stigma. The process of creating and gathering content, organizing it, wrestling with it to lay it out, and getting it into people’s brains—communicating in a way that they can understand and appreciate is perhaps the greatest comfort. It channels frenetic energy into something we care deeply about. It also serves as a record of what we do with our lives.

Equally importantly, creating a zine shows readers that they can create. Art and creativity are vital ways to express things that society doesn’t have a conventional means to share. The process of creating can be helpful to deal with mental illness. In this way we serve both the writer and the reader. 

Comments & Reviews


I very much enjoyed working on this zine with all the awesome contributors who were willing to share their stories and insight into the challenges of experiencing mental illnesses and the great people at Microcosm who help bring to light these and other important stories. My sincere hope for this zine is that it will play a role in advancing the stigma-free movement to break the stigma of mental illnesses and at the same time help others know they are not alone.