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ArkLaTex woman uses fashion designs to raise mental health awareness

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) – A local business was born out of the pain of losing a loved one too soon.

Amy Ogunyemi says her father-in-law, the late Dr. Frederick Ogunyemi, called her “my friend,” which means my friend in French. The words are the inspiration behind the name of her business which she runs with her husband – Mon Amie’s Designs and Apparel.

Her fashion line includes clothes and accessories that display catchy phrases that have meaning behind them.

“We actually choose to use fashion to send these messages in the same way that we do with our advocacy work. Sometimes when you see it on a t-shirt, it’s inexplicable when you look at a t-shirt that says “You can’t pour from an empty cup”.

Amy added that she and her husband love using fashion to spread that message.

In 2018, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Amy says it was the height of her struggle with anxiety and depression, despite being diagnosed in 2013.

“I was working a lot of hours, (in a) highly toxic, high-stress work environment,” she said. “I am a mother of three children and at that time they were all very young, I was working around 60-70 hours a week and just the burden of carrying that load on top of being a professional was a lot to bear.”

She uses fashion and accessories to speak on behalf of those who suffer from anxiety and depression. She added that many people with anxiety and depression can be exhausting, especially when trying to convince others that your condition is real.

“We all hear these words like weak or crazy or unstable and because people are afraid of these labels they choose to suffer in silence. If you had met me five or six years ago, I was a different person.

Amy wrote the Christian self-help book, Hopeless surrender. The book was written for anyone suffering from anxiety or depression.

Additionally, Amy also runs an online support community, My Friend’s Anxiety and Depression Alliance on Facebook. There are around 300 people in the community and it allows people to talk with others in a safe space with other people who understand anxiety and depression.

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