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The #HelloYellow project is in time for World Mental Health Day on Tuesday 10 October
9th October 2017

#HelloYellow: Hackney New School

- by Anya

Mental health doesn’t have a type. It can affect anyone: men and women, children and adults, rich and poor.

Children are certainly not exempt. According to research, a staggering three pupils in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health condition and 90 per cent of school leaders have reported an increase in the number of students experiencing anxiety, stress or depression over the last five years.

To mark World Mental Health Day, which this year falls on 10 October, UK-based charity YoungMinds has launched #HelloYellowYoung Minds is a charity that champions the wellbeing of young people across the UK. With its nationwide #HelloYellow campaign, the charity aims to show young people that they’re not alone when it comes to their mental health. 

Work of Annie's acts as a reference point and inspiration for the participants of #HelloYellow.

One initiative born out of the campaign is happening just down the road from Zetteler HQ. Annie Nicholson, an art teacher at Hackney New School on Downham Road, is joined by film-maker Tara Darby and Cath Carver of the fantastic Colour Your City to head up a campaign with local secondary school students that aims to tackle the stigma against mental health head on. Annie and Tara’s work with schools follows the documentary they made together depicting Annie’s journey through the traumatic loss of her family and aims to show young people methods of survival after the unthinkable becomes reality.  Annie says of their work, "Through opening channels of communication about very complex and taboo subjects, we want to challenge society's restrictions on just talking and using creativity to heal and help." Under her guidance, the children have made a series of yellow posters brandishing messages that encourage positive attitudes around mental health.

Anya's favourite poster from the #HelloYellow project

Thank’s to their no nonsense approach, the posters manage to be hard-hitting, uplifting and wonderfully impactful all at once. A personal favourite: “Dab on them haters”

Last weekend, just in time for Mental Health Day, the posters have been pasted on the wall of A Portuguese Love Affair on 326 Hackney Road. The posters will later become a permanent fixture and adorn a wall outside of a new primary school on Downham Road: an everyday reminder that nobody should have to struggle through mental health alone.


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