A Salford mental health campaigner is anonymously co-ordinating a Notes of the North project to post positive messages in public places.
Media City and Salford University are prime locations to spot uplifting posters attached to railings and hoardings. The notes are also appearing in cities across the North, including Bolton and Bury.
Notes of the North has been created to spread positivity to strangers at a time when one in four of the UK population is expected to suffer from mental health issues.
The anonymous student said: “The world is a very negative place right now, so anyway I can make someone smile or help them is a bonus.”
Notes have started to go up over the past few months, starting over the summer. The idea was triggered more than a year ago by realising the decline in mental health and wanting to make other people feel better.
The quotes on the notes are a mixture of online quotes and self-thoughts.
The anonymous project leader said: “It is very rare that I go online to look for things that I might use, I like to keep it authentic.
“I make the notes myself. One or two of my friends will help me to put them out, we post at night so it can be quite dangerous. There is definitely an element of ‘safety in numbers’ with this.”
The Salford resident remains anonymous for the project. They said: “I remain anonymous because the project isn’t really about me, it is about connecting with other people. I want to present myself eventually but with being a student being anonymous also keeps a little of the pressure off.
“I receive so much feedback a week, sometimes it can be quite hard to keep up. I have had some people telling me that I have saved their lives with my messages, and a lot of people that just needed reassurance and I have provided that for them. These messages alone make all the late nights and long hours so worthwhile. A lot of the time when I’m making notes it comes from a place of me being quite down and wanting to turn and do something productive, so it lifts my spirits and reassured me too, it reminds me that I’m doing the right.”
Many people have uploaded photos of the notes to Instagram and tagged Notes of the North in the images.
Salford resident Amelia, 24, found one of the notes on Salford University campus. “I just love how the kindness of strangers can make such a huge impact with people through such a small gesture.”
Notes of the North will soon be selling prints and mugs. Half of the profit will go towards maintaining the project as materials can become costly. The other half of the profit is going to be donated to ‘The Mustard Tree’ charity for homelessness and a mental health charity.
It is also ‘Mental Health Awareness’ week on campus at the University of Salford this week. Students are raising awareness throughout the university via social media videos and offering more mental health sessions.
Here are top tips for #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek’ from Hatty, a student from the University of Salford working with the Student Union.
Suicide is the biggest cause of death in men under 35 this #internationalmensday2018 we want to get men talking Rafiki is our peer listening service which is here to help. Find out more at https://t.co/Ll1hH0qMS5 #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek pic.twitter.com/XHrBSWcwlb
— Salford SU (@salfordsu) November 19, 2018
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You can visit Notes of the North Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/notesofthenorth/
Find mental health services in Salford: http://www.salfordccg.nhs.uk/mental-health-services-in-salford
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You can call Samaritans 24/7: 116 123