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Mental health, specifically anxiety, has been showcased, opposed to silenced, as of late. With campaigns like #BellLetsTalk, we are witnessing more open conversations about mental health in the media, on school campuses and just in our general community.

Dealing with mental health has been a big part of Kitchener Waterloo resident Chantal McCulligh’s life.

“For me, I’ve always had anxiety, since I was seven and I always knew it was anxiety,” she explained.

McCulligh understands the stigma that surrounds anxiety and saw a need to turn her experiences into something that can help others.

“I think when you have a mental illness, society has kind of taught you to feel abnormal, feel inadequate … whatever you want to call it. There are all of these negative things associated with mental illness.”

As a result of her own lived experiences, McCulligh, who is also a freelance writer, started Anxiety Gone, a mental illness subscription box for anxiety.

“A lot of people don’t know that they can achieve their goals and their dreams and they can feel better. Everyone and anyone can suffer from mental illness, it doesn’t discriminate,” she explained.

There are so many methods you can treat mental illness. McCulligh acknowledges and understands that its important to explore a range of methods when helping yourself and treating your mental health issues.

The subscription box contains items that, according to McCulligh, will help you deal with your anxiety.

“Everything I put into it, in one way or another, is going to help your anxiety directly. I’m focusing on things you can do to instantly feel better.”

“I use all natural products. In my box I include tons of essential oils and teas that have been proven to reduce symptoms of anxiety. The biggest, and definitely my favourite part about the boxes, is I include at least one book in every box, which is a self help book with something that teaches you how to self love and overcome [anxiety].”

McCulligh says that she is really proud of the time and research she put into finding the best books to include in her boxes.

“I think a lot of healing has to do with learning about who you are and what you’re going through.”

McCulligh has big plans for the future of this venture. “I have a lot of things that I want this to turn into,” she said.

She would like to eventually create more customized boxes that would cater to specific types of anxiety.

“My next thing that I’m working on is actually going to be a box that helps victims of sexual abuse,” she said.

Anxiety is a great place to start, but McCulligh realized early on that she would need to create a wider range of boxes to properly address a broader range of mental health issues.

McCulligh offers a budget friendly version that does not skimp of quality. She explains that this would benefit students, especially. She didn’t want to make her product unattainable to people on a tight budget.

McCulligh explained that this is a fun and happy product that takes away from the negativity that has saturated our understanding of anxiety and mental health in general.