THE Samaritans and Black Dog Tribe are the latest to join the long list supporting a nationwide music and art project that will bang the drum for mental health.
Nationwide organisations, celebrities and local NHS Trusts are coming together for Rethink Your Mind. which launches its creative challenge on World Mental Health Day on October 10.
Everyone is invited to use the theme of mental health to produce words and artwork, which will be showcased on the www.rethinkyourmind.co.uk website.
Selected work will be published in a hardback book and winning lyrics and art will also feature on new singles by hip hop artist Rubie Colt and Midlands band Refuge.
Most importantly, the website and book will provide a valuable mental health help guide that will link up support organisations with the people who need them most.
Rethink Your Mind has provided a free platform to mental health groups in the project that will culminate in a grand prize presentation at the House of Lords, hosted by supporter Professor Lord Patel of Bradford OBE.
Launched by Midlands-based community interest company SISO (Safe Inside, Safe Outside) and Citizens Eye, the project now has 35 supporters, including Time to Change, Bipolar UK, TV and film star Steve Huison and a glittering array of artists, poets and photographers who will be assessing the entries.
Rethink Your Mind is the brainchild of SISO Development Worker and Refuge lead singer Peter Hirst, who hopes the project will get people talking positively about mental health.
“I have Bipolar,” he says. “I have been stable for a good time now, but my family were very frightened and lost when I first fell ill. This resource is for all families and every person who needs it, so that they can feel connected at a time when often you feel most disconnected.”
Refuge is re-releasing Sweet Comfort for the Soul from their recent EP on October 10, which also marks the debut of Rubie’s first single, Speak To Me.
“It’s such an exciting project to be part of and I can’t wait to sing the winning lyrics,” adds Rubie, who has joined to widen the appeal to a younger audience, and that’s particularly poignant for her.
“Mental health is an issue for all ages, but young people can find it harder to talk about their problems and reach out for help.
“I had a friend who, at just 11, was struggling to cope with exams and his mum’s illness. It would be brilliant if this project inspires the setting up of support networks for children and young people.”
She has some good advice for budding songwriters who have been given the starting brief of ‘with good mental health I have....’
“Write from the heart,” she smiles. “There’s no better starting place.”
Click onto www.rethinkyourmind.co.uk for competition and entry details.