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The Mental Health Gift Giving Guide from Psych Central

Christmas, the biggest gift-giving holiday of them all, will be here in less than a month — which means that gift buying season is currently in full force.

Unless you are my sister — who is already done shopping and wrapping — you are probably just now starting to think about what gifts you want give your loved ones. Many people have no idea what to give certain people. Even my wildly efficient sister has issues finding the perfect gift for me, her picky big brother.

I’ve been gifted socks and Welshcakes from relatives over the years, and I always hear my mother’s voice in my head when I unwrap each package: “It’s the thought that counts.” And my mom is right, it is the thought that counts. But, why does that thought only have to count once? Why can’t the thought count when you purchase the gift? Wouldn’t this allow you to give each gift twice this holiday season? I say yes!

Below is a list of gift suggestions, all under 25 dollars and all from mental health advocates and charities who can use the support. Purchasing these gifts shows you care about someone’s mental health or mental illness. And, as an added bonus, if the recipient doesn’t like the gift, you still know you made the holidays merrier for someone.

(And don’t forget, we have two official shirts you can order from Psych Central’s store — both support our podcasts.)

Seven Mental Health Gift Suggestions

1. Brave Beads

This first suggestion is from the mental health storytelling non-profit This Is My Brave. They describe them as their version of Greek worry beads, and they are handmade by talented volunteers.

Made of Brazilian Açai beads from the Amazon rain forest, they are adorned with a silver-plated “B” for Brave. I like that the designs and colors vary, because each piece is unique — just like the person you gifting it to. Get yours by visiting the This Is My Brave Store.

2. Limited Edition Depressed Cake Shop™ bracelet

Next up is the Depressed Cake Shop™ bracelet stamped with the phrase “Where there is cake, there is hope…and there is always cake.”

The bracelet is handmade by The Brave Sparrow, who creates beautiful jewelry inspired by women who find the courage to overcome life’s challenges.

The artist explains the symbolism in the Sparrow: All too often we take the sparrow for granted — small though she may be, she is certainly powerful. It is her slightness in size that gives her advantages.

Proceeds from the bracelet go to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). To learn more and get yours, visit Depressed Cake Shop.

3. The “Chlorine” Pillbox

People managing mental illness often do so with daily medication. But young people don’t want to carry around “granny’s pill case.” That’s why I love this product from Michelle Hammer, the co-host of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast.

This pillbox includes Michelle’s original “Chlorine” print design on the front, a mirror inside the lid, and is 2 inches round. It’s perfect for a travel bag, purse, or your pocket.

You can get yours by visiting Schizophrenic.NYC.

4. Aromatherapy Stress Relief Dough

I’m a guy who fidgets constantly. At last count, I have eight fidget toys and I love them all. While five of them are spinners, none of them are aromatherapy dough. So this item has really piqued my interest.

The website reads: “Need a little spark for your creativity as you move into the morning or afternoon? Pull it out and use it to release stress and frustrations. Roll, squish and squash away that stress.”

Anything that distracts my mind and relieves stress sounds great to me and, at $4.00 a can, it’s the lowest priced gift on our list. You can learn more and purchase by visiting Dough For It over on Etsy.

5. Bipolar Emoji Mug

I can’t have a list of cool products supporting mental health / mental illness advocacy without including the original bipolar mug. Full disclosure: that’s my mug and my design, so I’m naturally very proud of it.

Long before I was a Psych Central blogger and podcaster, I was just a guy with a logo. And that logo is now on a mug!

It’s matte black with matte white print and a glossy white interior, perfect for drinking 11 ounces of your favorite liquid. It can also be used as a pen holder on your desk.

Want your very own? Visit the bipolar emoji mug section of my store and order a baker’s dozen.

6. The Blips

Meet the Blips! I never knew emotion/aromatherapy dolls like this existed and I’m super excited about them.

The creator, YarnistryUK, says these are part of the Bothers series, which is “a collection of lovingly handmade, miniature art dolls designed to separate our difficult emotions from our bodies and place them gently in our hands. Each Bother is designed to embody the feelings that often feel too hard to bear alone: worry, grief, guilt, shame, insomnia, doubt.”

Blips fit perfectly in your palm and are designed to be a comfort on the go. You can pick the color and scent of your Blip. Meet the blips over on Etsy now!

7. Never Give Up Mental Health Awareness Necklace

Last, but certainly not least, is the Never Give Up Mental Health Awareness Necklace by A Band Of Hope.

Each necklace has the words “Never Never Give Up!” written on a circle charm to remind the person wearing it that it’s never over. The website says that these necklaces are super popular and a subtle way to keep advocating for mental health when out and about! I, for one, believe them.

A simple silver necklace with a powerful message. Get yours from A Band of Hope.

Mental Health Gift Giving Guide ‘Wrap Up’

Didn’t see something that your hard-to-buy-for relative will love? That’s okay, the internet is huge! Search for “mental health awareness gifts” on your favorite search engine and look for independent advocates selling their creations. Even if you don’t make a purchase, drop them a note and tell them you love what they’re doing and that you appreciate their efforts. It’ll mean a lot to the tens of thousands of hardworking people making life better for those of us who live with mental illness and mental health issues every day.

No matter what the “difficult gift receiver” thinks of your present this year, I hope you have a happy holiday season and a joyous new year.

The Mental Health Gift Giving Guide from Psych Central

Gabe Howard

Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar disorder. He is the author of the popular book, Mental Illness is an Asshole and other Observations, available from Amazon; signed copies are also available directly from the author. To learn more about Gabe, please visit his website,

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APA Reference
Howard, G. (2018). The Mental Health Gift Giving Guide from Psych Central. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 30 Nov 2018 (Originally: 30 Nov 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 30 Nov 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.