A Winery Addresses Mental Health


Wine for mental health…?




“Here, at Slate Theory, we understand it is all in our heads.”

There has been debate on how much red wine a day might be beneficial for health. For mental health in particular, the quantity of wine daily can range from taking the edge off anxiety to severe addiction.

Our solar eclipse day main event took place last week at a winery in Texas. Wineries are a relatively new phenomena in Texas, perhaps related to an influx of Californians.

Near our winery outside of Fredericksburg, I found out about another winery named Slate Theory, and on their slate is an unusual campaign for mental health. Its labels on the wine bottles provide a certain illustrated perspective on mental health and its associated stigma.1

The red wine labels represent “the darker sides of mental illness,” according to owner Cody Jones, who studied psychology in college. The focus is on “The Schizophrenic” and “The Narcoleptic.”

On the therapeutic side are the white wine labels representing the caregiver, such as “The Pharmacist” and “The Therapist.” For The Therapist, made in collaboration with The Big Silence, a mental health advisory organization, Jones apparently dipped into his own unconscious to make a photograph with ropes tied around his head!

Single variety wines are depicted like the Rorschach Test, with an abstract design. There is a reported hope that the labels will lead to conversation about mental health and illness.

Whether this focus will be beneficial or harmful is unknown. There is no mention of any outcome studies. Will the labels attract more wine drinking? Could it turn out to just be publicity that will increase interest in their wines? Will this be more stigmatizing than less? Most of the patients and families seem to prefer something like “person with schizophrenia” to “The Schizophrenic” for any disorder. That alternative phrasing conveys that the disorder does not define them.

It certainly is not a subliminal approach like that used by cigarette manufacturers to increase smoking. No question, though, that Slate Theory has developed an innovative and perhaps paradoxical way to try to publicly increase attention and conversation about mental health and illness.

Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry and is now in retirement and retirement as a private pro bono community psychiatrist. A prolific writer and speaker, he has done a weekday column titled “Psychiatric Views on the Daily News” and a weekly video, “Psychiatry & Society,” since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged. He was chosen to receive the 2024 Abraham Halpern Humanitarian Award from the American Association for Social Psychiatry. Previously, he received the Administrative Award in 2016 from the American Psychiatric Association, the one-time designation of being a Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Speaker of the Assembly of the APA in 2002, and the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in 1991. He is an advocate and activist for mental health issues related to climate instability, physician burnout, and xenophobia. He is now editing the final book in a 4-volume series on religions and psychiatry for Springer: Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, Christianity, and now The Eastern Religions, and Spirituality. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric Times.


1. Shults LE. Bringing mental health into the conversation. Rock & Vine. 2024. Accessed April 18. 2024. https://rockandvinemag.com/2024/02/bringing-mental-health-into-the-conversation/

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