14th Oct, 2019

Hearts of Hope fill Shirley Park entrance to mark Mental Health Awareness Week

Sarah Mason 14th May, 2019

HEARTFELT messages have been left at Shirley Park in a bid to offer hope to someone struggling with mental health.

Katie Houghton decorated the entrance to the Stratford Road Park with ‘Hearts Of Hope’ as part of Mental Health Awareness week (May 13 to 19).

Following a similar project to mark last autumn, the Shirley resident spent a few weeks hand-writing messages of hope, inspiration and challenging the stigma around mental health to tie to the wall.

Katie said: “When I did this for World Mental Health Day last year it was so well received and I had a lot of lovely messages from people telling me of their stories and how it helped them as well as seeing others talking.

“It really created conversation around mental health so I wanted to do it again as part of mental health awareness week.”

The messages are removable and the aim is that people will read them and also take one or two away if they are struggling with mental health themselves or know someone that is.

The mental health campaigner, who has battled with mental health from her early teens including anorexia, or depression and bipolar disorder, started to give out notes of hope as part of her online blog.

She added: “Having battled the system to get the correct help I know how little things can sometimes really make a difference when it feels like you have lost hope and so these little messages, I hope will make their way to people that need them.

“Raising awareness on mental health is very important to me and I like to help others to feel less alone and that things can get better, even when that feels impossible.

Sometimes the smallest of things can make a difference to someone, we never know what others are going through and how what seems like something so small could really make a difference to someone in a moment when they need it most.”

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