Home Arts & Lit Arts Recommend: Mental Health Awareness Week

Arts Recommend: Mental Health Awareness Week


Every week we bring you our special selection of all things arty. From interesting websites to highly anticipated performances for your diary, there is something to spark all kinds of creative interest.

1. Illustrations of Mental Illnesses

Image credit: Tony Allen
Image credit: Toby Allen

Artist Toby Allen has created brilliantly drawn cartoon monsters, which each represent a different mental illness. Toby hopes to draw attention to conditions that people may have never heard of before: “I want to make people aware of how damaging these illnesses are and how much of a burden they can be to those who suffer from them.”

Toby is not in anyway trying to trivialise mental illness: “The artwork is not at all intended to make light of these conditions,” he writes, “but instead is intended to give these intangible mental illnesses some substance and make them appear more manageable as physical entities.”

Toby suffers from anxiety, pictured above, himself. View more of these illustrations on Toby’s website here, or read an interview with Toby here on rethink.org.

elephant in the room
Image credit: Bryony James

2. Elephant in the forum

Check out the elephant in the forum, made by Art Society as part of Mental Health Awareness week. Embodying the phrase ‘the elephant in the room’, this project urges us to start talking about mental illness.

3. Mental Health ‘Get Well Soon’ Cards

As part of the Time to Change campaign, contemporary British artist Stuart Semple and cartoonist Stephen Collins have created a series of cards to send to people who are experiencing mental health problems to let them know that they are being supported. Attempting to overcome the stigma attached to mental illness, the project arose from a survey which revealed that only one in four people with mental illness received a get well card, even though 80% said that a card would be a good gesture to show that others are thinking of them. Check out the ecards here.

4. Bloom: 28,000 Flowers Installed At The Abandoned Mental Institution

Flowers installed by artist Anna Schuleit Image credit: Anna Schuleit via Demilked
Flowers installed by artist Anna Schuleit
Image credit: Anna Schuleit via Demilked

“To mark the transition of the original building of the Massachusetts Mental Health Center from the physical shape it has been, to the remembered, artist Anna Schuleit was commissioned to create a site-specific project.

To address the persistent absence of flowers in psychiatric hospital settings, BLOOM, consisted of 28,000 potted, blooming flowers, selected and sorted by color, and placed throughout four floors of the historic building.” Read the full article here on Demilked, where you can see many more photographs.

5. Understanding the Misunderstood

Understanding the Misunderstood Stop Motion from Hazel O’Brien on Vimeo.


Bryony James and Giverny Masso


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