I’m currently in my 7th week in hospital where I’m trying to fix both my body and mind which have been somewhat cruelly abused by anorexia and PTSD. It can feel quite a lonely place, both physically and mentally, but one of the things I have found that can always lift the fog a little is when the postman comes calling with a handwritten card from someone I care about.
The power of even the simplest of hand written messages to penetrate the darkness a little got me to thinking about how great it would be if we could mobilise people to reach out to their friends at difficult times – whether that’s due to mental or physical illness, bereavement or any other issue. Often at these times, as friends we really want to support but we just don’t know what to say.
And so “Together we can: Cards to Send to Friends Facing Hard Times” was born.
Myself and my friend Caro (the creative genius!) launched it as a Kickstarter campaign with the aim of raising enough money to produce and distribute 3000 cards that pledgers could send to their loved ones.. Each pack of cards will also be supplied with simple suggestions about how to support a friend through difficult times…
And the response has been tremendous! We are hoping to raise £5k in 30 days which looks hopeful as we hit the £2k mark in under 24 hours. Many people’s pledges are simple and are essentially advance purchases of the cards, whilst others have made a pledge that will enable them to co-create a card with us, have their pet featured or be a VIP at our launch party. We hope that you’d like to support our campaign too and help us reach our £5k target. The cards will ship all over the world, lighting darkness with smiles wherever they go.
We’ve aimed for a mixture of kind, supportive and funny cards so there should be something to suit everyone. If the project continues to capture imaginations then I hope we will grow the range in response to our network’s suggestions and keep it as an ongoing endeavour and continual fund raiser for the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust children and young people’s mental health programme (which funds things like our webinar series designed for anyone working with or caring for a young person with a mental health issue) and our weekly mental health podcast.
Please take a look and consider joining those who have already pledged to help turn this dream into a reality and help turn darkness into light for friends during times of need.
Dr Pooky Knightsmith is the vice chair of the children and young people’s mental health programme and a director at the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust – a mental health charity. But at the moment she’s trying to be a patient patient, working hard to get on top of her own mental health and letting her very competent team worry about everyone else’s for a little while..