I am so excited to talk about this new project that I have been asked to help with, it combines all the things I’m passionate about: mental health awareness, art and collaboration!! Yay!!

We are doing an open call for West Midlands artists to submit their art ideas of all types of mediums to be displayed around some of our local cities. 

This is being put together by the Hereford and Worcestershire Health and Care Trust, which is a part of the NHS. The team want to publicise all the many options of help that people can receive for all types of mental health issues.

Life can be tough at any time let alone during a global pandemic. Even people who have never struggled with any prolonged state of mental health difficulty are now facing challenges they didn’t expect and often aren’t prepared for. The daily routine has been interrupted, things we usually do whether knowingly or not, to keep calm, keep us happy or give us head space have all been taken away. These small things are often the reason we cope with normal day to day stresses, things like going to the gym, visiting family and friends, coffee break chats at work. 

Our collective mental health is taking a on a heavy load right now, so now more than ever we need to look after our own mental wellbeing. Someone to talk to, some advice, someone to lean on. This is why the NHS and other charitable organisations are asking for your help, they want to get the word out about all the different ways we can find help. There are many websites, phone numbers and social media groups that can assist you to find ways of dealing with all types of mental health issues from anxiety and depression to bereavement and loneliness.

For this project the NHS want to help bring people together with coping mechanisms whilst reducing the stigma that sadly still surrounds mental health. They are putting together art trail's aimed at getting people out of the house in a safe way to come and find visual delights all around the West Midlands.
Starting in Worcester in May which was a great success, more can be found here about the artists and venues that got involved; https://www.healthyminds.whct.nhs.uk/worcester-city-art-trail
The Redditch art trail runs throughout July and includes more great artists; https://www.healthyminds.whct.nhs.uk/redditch-trail 
and then a final 2021 art trail will take place in Hereford for the whole of September. (Dates and locations are subject to change).

We are looking for artists to submit ideas that express the positives of the help these different organisations represent. Submissions will break down in to categories of different mental health issues. The chosen pieces/installations/work will be displayed around the involved cities to create a positive and inspiring art trail that will inspire and inform people using all forms of art.

“Bringing together art, exercise and mental health, this campaign aims to highlight common mental health causes, ways to self-help and signpost to additional support if you need it.
We are looking for artists to help fill the city with colour through installations, fine art, photography, craft, murals and more in windows, venues, businesses and spaces across the city centre in May 2021. 

Produced by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, in partnership with Worcester City Council, Now We’re Talking for art will transform Worcestershire into an innovative art trail taking you on a colourful, inspiring and safe journey around the city, free of charge. When the trail ends the artwork will be installed (if applicable) in NHS wards and waiting rooms for its patients and staff.”

If you are an artist or crafter (amateur or professional) or have another idea of how you’d like to get involved then please read the brief below, the deadline for proposals for the Worcester and Redditch events are now closed, Hereford closing date will be 8th August, artists will then be chosen by a panel based on suitability and subject to the number of participating spaces available.

Project Brief

We would like to theme each piece of artwork with a cause/issue (below is a sample of different mental health issues, this list can be added to so don’t worry if your idea doesn’t initially fit into these categories). 

The quote can either be incorporated into the work or just used as the artwork title/description. You’ll notice all the quotes are very positive – we want it to be a positive campaign about the community coming together to support each other and the artwork doesn’t need to directly relate to mental health.

Quote sample: 
  1. The world is better with you in it: help with suicidal thoughts
  2. Your kindness if transforming a life: help for carers
  3. You are exactly what they need: help for new mums
  4. Do not let your past define your future: help for abuse victims
  5. It’s OK not to be OK: help with bereavement (Partnership with St. Richards Hospice, which has   chosen a theme of or involving elephants)
  6. You will smile again: help with depression 
  7. You’ve got this: help with anxiety
  8. Believe in yourself and you are unstoppable: help with worry
  9. Storms don’t last forever: help with stress
  10. You were born to be real, not perfect: help for children and young people
  11. Create your own sunshine: help with general changes in circumstances
  12. It will be OK: help with self-harm
  13. You are stronger than you know: help with long term illness
  14. We rise by lifting others: help with poverty
  15. Happiness is found within: help with loneliness
  16. Be the best version of you: help with PTSD
  17. Strength lives in differences, not similarities: help with bullying
  18. No matter who it is, love is love: LGBTQ+ community
  19. Old age is not for the faint-hearted: help for the elderly
We would like to receive a rough sketch and description of what each artist will produce. Along with the details of what medium you plan on using, for example, art work on canvas or in a frame, a shop window itself, hanging or sculpture etc and some idea of size.
Please email this information to me at emily@artistsclubhouse.com before the closing date on 8th August we can’t wait to see what you guys come up with.

For more information about the event please visit the Healthy Minds website at https://www.healthyminds.whct.nhs.uk/nwt-art 

01 March, 2021
Artists Clubhouse