Let’s Chalk About Mental Health – Exeter

Let’s Chalk About Mental Health – Exeter

Come and write messages of support, hope and inspiration in chalk on the streets of Exeter for those who may be struggling with mental health problems. That’s the idea behind the “Let’s Chalk About Mental Health” campaign – aimed at tackling stigma, supporting sufferers of mental illness and raising awareness around mental health and suicide.

Gill Hayes, the mental health and suicide prevention campaigner behind the idea, explains:

“I know what it feels like to be in a place of absolute despair as I am a suicide survivor myself. I know how stigma compounds the isolation, the shame and the suffering. I also understand how vital the messages of hope and support I received were, on my own journey to recovery.

By chalking messages of understanding and support, we can encourage those who are suffering in silence to ask for help, and take that first step towards recovery. Through our messages, we could actually nudge someone away from a trajectory towards suicide – we could literally save a life. Importantly, we also want to engage people in a wider conversation and help stop the stigma around mental illness and suicide.

The focus of this year’s World Mental Health Day is suicide prevention. Every 40 seconds someone loses their life to suicide, and the World Health Organisation is asking us all to take “40 seconds of action” to raise awareness of the problem. So, I would love to see the people of Exeter take 40 seconds to chalk their message of support.”

On Thursday 10th October, between 9.30am and 7pm everyone will be invited to chalk their messages at an event in Bedford Square, Princesshay shopping centre, Exeter. Local mental health and suicide prevention charities and wellbeing services will be coming along to take part.

Schools, colleges, businesses and community groups are also invited to create their own “Let’s Chalk About Mental Health” events in playgrounds, office spaces and car parks. You don’t even have to be part of an organised event to take part. You can chalk your message on your own front doorstep.

Please share photos of chalking on social media using the hashtag #LetsChalkAboutMentalHealth.

For more information, please contact Gill Hayes at gillhayes@hotmail.com or on 07949 5922626.

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