New campaign aims to start conversations about mental health
A new campaign asks people to “pass the parcel” to end stigmatisation around mental health.
The campaign, for national mental health programme See Me, invites people to send a parcel to someone they care about who might be struggling as a way to start a conversation about their mental health.
When someone receives a parcel, they can then create their own parcel and send it on to someone else, to help spread conversations on mental health and tackle the stigma around it.
The campaign is the brainchild of Aberdeen mental health campaigner Dawn Getliffe, who wanted to find a new way to get people speaking about mental health during the coronavirus pandemic.
She said: “One of the key reasons I developed Pass the Parcel was to reduce mental health stigma through having more conversations about mental health. Even just asking a friend ‘are you okay?’ Or, ‘how are you finding things in these times, what are you doing to stay well?’ I think conversations like these are really important and we can encourage these conversations through Pass the Parcel.
“Pass the Parcel is both a random act of kindness and a conversation starter about mental health. So you are saying to someone ‘I care about you, I hope you stay well, I’m giving you a treat and I want you also to talk to me about your mental health because it is so important’.”
See Me is offering a range of downloadable resources on its website which can be included in parcels, including tips on how to talk about mental health.
The programme’s social movement officer, Lynn Pilkington, said: “Too many people with mental health problems feel isolated and worry about the impact of telling someone they’re struggling, especially right now. But conversations have the power to change lives, however they take place.
“If someone you know is struggling download our resources and create your own parcel. Then send it to a neighbour, friend or colleague and encourage them to do the same.
“If you use social media you can also share your photos online using the #SeeMePassTheParcel hashtag and tag others so that they can get involved.”