Belinda Aaron, a Salford CVS volunteer, has created and designed face masks to encourage people to be more open about their mental health with the slogan “a chat can change your life”, for Mind Salford.
The masks come with different designs from lips to speech bubbles and cost £5, with every penny going towards the mental health charity Mind. With October being world mental health month, this comes at a prominent time in peoples lives.
Today is #WorldMentalHealthDay.
Local fundraiser Belinda has designed face masks encouraging people to be open about their mental health.
They cost £5 and thanks to sponsorship, every penny will be donated to mental health charity Mind.
To order contact firstname.lastname@example.org pic.twitter.com/fplBHENVCv
— Salford CVS (@SalfordCVS) October 10, 2020
Speaking to Ms Aaron about the masks she said: “I wanted to do some fundraising for Mind as a small project.
“At the beginning of the year I was meant to do a fundraising event, but because of COVID restrictions, we couldn’t.
“I just wanted to raise money and awareness by doing something different. I thought everyone is wearing masks what a fun way to draw attention to a serious subject.
“Some people have stopped me in the supermarket and said ‘I really like your mask’ and that person might live on there own and I might be the only person who they are going to speak to that day. It’s a talking point and we need to get people talking”.
This innovative idea came from the personal experience Belinda had with mental health issues: “I started with mental health issues in 1997, so that was nine years after I graduated.
“A couple of things happened when I lived in London and I got myself into a really bad downward spiral.
“So I tried to take an overdose, it was more like a cry for help than actually wanting to disappear from the planet”.
1 in 4 people in the United Kingdom suffer with mental health issues and this is likely to increase because of anxieties, unemployment and fears from the recent and ongoing pandemic.
The Salford volunteer commented on this situation: “People that have existing mental health problems, their anxieties have really been exacerbated by the lockdown.
“If you haven’t had mental health problems before, people are developing them now and they really don’t know how to handle them and this is too alarming to ignore”.
Belinda has also crafted T-Shirts and posters, as well as face masks, too amplify the message that it’s okay not to be okay and to allow people to have a bad mental health day, like any other illness.
“I used to ring up and go off sick and blame it on a chest infection or hormonal problems because I didn’t want anyone to hear the words mental health.
“My dream is for it to become okay for people to say “I’m having a really bad mental health day”. I can say that I have a thyroid problem or a bad back and no one will bat an eyelid.
“However, to me the brain is like any other organ in the body and sometimes it goes wrong for whatever reason and it should be okay to say so”.
To order a mental health mask and donate £5 to Mind Salford, contact email@example.com