NHS mental health charity calls on local community to get involved in Hearts of Gold project

5 February 2021

Heads On is the official charity of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides specialist NHS mental health and learning disability services for people of all ages across Sussex, and for children and young people in Hampshire.

In the run up to Valentine’s Day, Heads On are asking the local community to get involved in their Hearts of Gold campaign, raising awareness of the mental health impact of the pandemic and spreading joy and hope throughout our local communities.

Rachael Duke, Head of Charity for Heads On commented “During this lockdown and to kick off Children’s mental health week, over 70 schools across Sussex have been busy decorating gold hearts to put them in the children’s home windows over the Valentine’s Day weekend. Art has been shown to boost confidence and make us more engaged and resilient; it can even help alleviate anxiety and depression. Children have understandably struggled with their mental health over the course of the pandemic and we are glad to be able to offer schools some resources to help improve this alongside a fun and creative project”.

“I really enjoy drawing and designing, it makes me feel happy and gives me something different to do when I am not able to go and see my friends.” remarked Louie Glynn, aged 8 from Hailsham, East Sussex. Louie is hoping displaying his heart over the Valentine’s Day weekend will help make others feel happy “I love painting and it makes me feel really happy seeing all the children’s art in their windows around my town”.

“Art makes me feel really calm and gives me something to concentrate on.” remarked Amy, aged 8 from Haywards Heath, West Sussex. Amy is hoping displaying her heart over the Valentine’s Day weekend will help make others feel happy “I love painting and it makes me feel really happy seeing all the children’s art in their windows around my village. I really hope lots of other boys and girls do this too”.

Heads On are encouraging business and adult individuals to send out Heads On Hearts of Gold cards in the run up to Valentine’s Day. The cards can be sent to someone who has shown them a heart of gold during the pandemic, thanking people who have supported their mental health. It could be NHS staff, teachers, family, friends, the smiley face in their local corner shop. Just someone who has made them feel better when times have been tough. The Hearts of Gold cards can be printed or downloaded by visiting www.headsoncharity.org

“The simple act of sending someone a Hearts of Gold card via email could really make their day and let them know they’ve helped someone who has being struggling with their own mental health. We have seen the demand for mental health support significantly increase during the pandemic, including amongst NHS staff. We really hope the act of thanking someone for their support will bring joy and a sense of togetherness”. Rachael Duke concluded “these are difficult times for adults and children alike, taking time to do activities to improve mental health are so important.”

If you, your business or school would like to take part in this campaign, please visit www.headsoncharity.org/events or contact headsoncharity@sussexpartnership.nhs.uk to find out more.

Heads On rely on the generosity of the local community to continue with their Covid-19 response, supporting people who are most affected by the pandemic. If you would like to make a donation or get involved with fundraising please visit www.headsoncharity.org