New mental health anti-stigma campaign for West Sussex will focus on acts of kindness

Coastal West Sussex Mind champions decorating some of the mini wellbeing boxes
Coastal West Sussex Mind champions decorating some of the mini wellbeing boxes

Kindness will be the focus for a new mental health anti-stigma campaign being launched by Coastal West Sussex Mind.

The Worthing-based charity is busy preparing the campaign, which will demonstrate people’s kind acts.

People who receive support from the mental health charity are collecting stories and experiences of acts of kindness they feel have helped with their mental health.

These will be printed on pocket-sized kindness cards and included in mini wellbeing boxes that will be given out to raise awareness and start conversations.

The charity says stigma stops people seeking support so it is vital to create opportunities for people to be open and talk.

Louisa Hernandez, anti-stigma co-ordinator, said: “There will be plenty of opportunities to talk to our staff and mental health champions. Over one weekend, we will have two free workshops to create mini wellbeing boxes. Everyone is welcome.”

The charity’s Open Minds champions have dubbed the campaign Human Kindness to Open Mindness. It will feature a week-long public arts event at Colonnade House during Mental Health Awareness Week in May.

Theatre design degree and diploma students from Northbrook MET will have their own exhibition at Colonnade House, including props, scale models, costumes and photographs, and will also help at the event, creating a colourful stand for the ‘pick and mix’ trinkets and tools people will be able to choose from to include in wellbeing boxes.

Alongside will be plenty of pre-packed wellbeing boxes with gifts such as Body Shop miniatures, clay hearts and shapes, tools and tips for managing mental health, and printed affirmations for people to take away.

Artists at The Corner House in Southwick have been involved, too, by designing unique wrapping paper.

The campaign follows the success of Coastal West Sussex Mind’s pebble painting anti-stigma activities and the charity hopes community groups, schools, colleges, workplaces will hold their own similar events. Anyone interested can email louisa.hernandez@coastalwestsussexmind.org.

The charity has pre-packed mini wellbeing boxes to give away to the first 30 people to let them know what act of kindness has helped their mental health. Email Louisa or post on Facebook @CoastalWestSussexMind or Instagram @MindWestSussex using #NoStigmaHere.

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from May 13 to 19, and the Human Kindness to Open Mindness arts event will be at Colonnade House, Warwick Street, Worthing, from May 14 to 20.