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Young artists promote self-care for Mental Health Awareness Week 2017

8th May 2017

‘The Art of a Peaceful Mind’: A colourful, therapeutic route to calmness

‘The Art of a Peaceful Mind’ is the new PAPYRUS colouring book, launched today to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week 2017. Comprising illustrations from young artists to visually represent the ways they relax and use self-care, the book aims to raise awareness of the help available to young people feeling overwhelmed and suicidal.    

We sought contributions from young artists and illustrators at UK colleges and universities and were overwhelmed with the volume and high quality response, making the final selection a difficult choice.

Studies have shown that colouring provides similar benefits to meditation, including wellness, relaxation and escapism. We wanted to take that concept a step further, with an illustrated guide to feeling more peaceful.

“Too often we feel there is something more important to do, or that we don’t deserve to take time to care for ourselves, but it is always OK to take time for ourselves and help our minds to relax. It is vital to our mental wellbeing,” (Heather Dickinson, manager of PAPYRUS HOPELineUK helpline services).

This colouring book with meaning is not only an opportunity to engage in calm, mindful colouring. The illustrations demonstrate a range of self-care activities that the young artists use themselves. Included are every-day chores such a washing the dishes as a way of slowing down; taking a relaxing bath, reading a book and spending time outdoors to feel a sense of nature, to connect with the sun, rain, the natural ebb and flow of the seasons. Birds, animals – even a mermaid – are included.

Whatever your age, with a few pens or pencils this can be a way to stop, to slow down, to feel much more able to manage difficult thoughts.

Many of the young artists shared with us why they wanted to get involved:

“It was lovely to have the opportunity to get involved with something that could help others going through issues that affected me personally”

"Sadly, I have witnessed far too many young lives being taken as a result of suicide”

“From my own difficulties I wanted to help other people who are in similar situations adopt positive and enjoyable coping strategies”.

Dealing with thoughts of suicide is painful. It can be hard, but it’s not unachievable. It starts with self-care, allowing yourself to understand that these thoughts, however difficult, are not permanent. By taking time out for yourself, to do something distracting, allows you to feel calmer.

For yourself, or a gift for friend, ‘The Art of a Peaceful Mind’ is available to purchase from our online shop at a price of £5 plus postage.

Read our article on why self-care is so vital to our emotional wellbeing and how it can help young people to stay suicide-safe.

In the UK suicide is the leading cause of death amongst young people under 35. For confidential, practical suicide support and advice for young people and concerned others contact PAPYRUS HOPELineUK tel 0800 068 41 41 text 07786 209 697 email pat@papyrus-uk.org

Editorial contact for more information Rosemary Vaux PAPYRUS Press Office tel 020 8943 5343 mobile 07792 72 62 41 pressoffice@papyrus-uk.org

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Suicide is the biggest killer of young people - male and female - under 35 in the UK. Many thousands more attempt or contemplate suicide, harm themselves or suffer alone, afraid to speak openly about how they are feeling.

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