Kites carry West Sussex Mind’s mental health message sky high

Nature is the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week and West Sussex Mind is reaching sky high with a focus on kites to get its anti-stigma and awareness message across.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 12:56 pm

The idea behind the campaign is that making kites is a fun and mindful activity, and getting outside to fly them helps people to connect with nature and the environment.

Kites, photography and movement will all be brought together for the week from May 10 to 16, with the awareness campaign running in Shoreham, Lancing, Worthing, Littlehampton, Bognor, Chichester, Storrington, Steyning and Midhurst - the areas where West Sussex Mind offers support.

Louisa Hernandez, project manager, said: “A kite can fail to fly many times due to the conditions but the joy of a moment of flight can be a wonderful reward and so uplifting. 

“We are using this metaphor and our message is Together We Rise.”

Kite making and flying will help the charity’s team to connect with people as it spreads the message that it is okay to talk about mental health.

There will also be an exhibition of photographic stories, showing people’s mental health journeys, at Colonnade House, in Warwick Street, Worthing, for the week beginning May 17.

The stories, in pictures and words, come from the charity’s Open Minds champions, who have lived experience of mental health problems.

Youth leader Matt Spear flies a kite

The photos focus on movement, to tie in with the Moving Minds anti-stigma and awareness campaign, which will launch on May 1, leading into Mental Health Awareness Week and continuing through the summer with a range of activities.

Louisa said: “We know that a lot of people have been struggling with their mental health, many of them for the first time. We want to ensure people know where to get support and, moreover, ensure stigma does not prevent people from getting that support.”

The charity’s anti-stigma and awareness work relies totally on fundraising and donations. Visit www.westsussexmind.org for more information or email [email protected] for details about the new campaign.

Jude Bitton explains how to make your own kite