Weʼre raising £5,000 to help fund the mental health project #ShareTheWeight. This would allow us to travel the UK spreading awareness in a positive way.
- Hartlepool, UK
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1 in 4 people suffer with a mental health issue within the UK. Mental Health is something people often find difficult to talk about. Sometimes people are embarrassed and hide their problems away which makes everything a lot more difficult to handle. To combat this and to try to get people talking, I decided to create a wacky conversation starter that I could take to the streets with. I enjoy sewing, so I created a gigantic, bean bag sized, plush, sad brain character. I took it out in public to ask people to help me #ShareTheWeight. I explained to the curious public that 'it is easier to come together and talk about your mental health problems than to struggle with it on your own'. I often asked people to hold it on their own to see how difficult it was. It was certainly a different approach to spreading mental health awareness as it is a very positive and a fun way to get people talking. It breaks the stigma that mental health is something that you should be quiet and embarrassed about and brings it right out into the open. People were taking photos and sharing it on social media and it brought together a diverse group of people who otherwise wouldn't open up to each other about the problems they were dealing with. The goofiness of the character comforts and intrigues people, It makes it easier for people to talk about their struggles and in turn, encourages them to reach out for help.
When we took the brain out to the public I witnessed how well the project actually works. Cars would beep, people would stare and everyone was curious about why I was there. A lot of people from the older generation particularly who do not like talking about mental health allowed this cute way to introduce the topic to them. I spoke to people who told me about the stages they were at with mental health. People laughed and really connected when I explained why I was there with the character.
Seeing the impact it has had just in my small town alone makes me want to spread the message further using my concept. I would love to find sponsors for funding to be able to take the brain on a tour of the UK. The more cities I visited with the brain and the more people I meet the more the message is spread. Whilst touring the UK and spreading awareness, I would be filming a longer documentary within the public spaces of that town or city to show the reactions and stories of real people suffering with mental health. It would spread the message around further online. In addition to this I would set up social media sites so that people can follow the brains travels and see the people we have met along the way. People we meet can upload selfies with the brain and tag #ShareTheWeight. People may even be on the lookout to take pictures of us or see us when we visit their town.
Secondary to this, When people are checking on his travels online and watching the documentaries, I would promote a link for people to donate to mental health charities (if they wish)
If you chose to support this project the money would pay for travel to Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, London and then back home. It would pay for food, and sleeping spaces for a team of 3 people. If for some reason we exceeded the limit, we would add in more places on the trip or put the money towards further awareness projects with the brain.
The project aims to spread the message that mental health is not something to be embarrassed about. It aims to bring communities together, get people talking about mental health and encourages people to open up and seek the help that they may require. It encourages people to support and understand one and other all in a positive and goofy way. Sharing the weight of your problems is easier than struggling alone. #ShareThe
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Polly Abbott started crowdfunding
Leave a message of support
May 24, 2018
May 22, 2018
I think what your doing is amazing! You've inspired so many people already and I think this campaign really shows the importance of recognising mental health problems as REAL illnesses ❤
Apr 3, 2018
Sorry I can't give more but think this is a great project.
Apr 2, 2018
Beth & Geoff Halliday
Mar 29, 2018
Such a warm, welcoming, creative and inclusive campaign. Wishing you lots of luck in ending the stigma. ❤️
Mar 27, 2018
Amazing thing to be doing. Good luck ❤️
Mar 27, 2018
Sorry I couldnt give more, you inspire me x
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About the fundraiser
My name is Polly Abbott and I am soon to be Graphic Design graduate from Teeside University. I specialize in cartoon making and character design and really care about driving my career towards creating quirky artwork to have positive impacts. I care about making people happy.
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