We all know people suffering with mental illness — whether it's anxiety or depression or bipolar disorder. What is unanimously agreed upon is that it's a notoriously tricky subject to broach… How do you try and help someone suffering with depression if they don’t want to talk about it? How do you start a conversation about bipolar disorder if someone is finding it all a bit much? You don’t want to be a bother, you just want to show you’re ‘there’ but getting the balance right is so hard and the LAST thing you want to do is push the person away.
That’s where Hope Street Cards comes in. Started by two sisters in Australia, the cards are created to be 'supportive and appropriate to inspire hope and encourage recovery from mental illness'.
Crazy Things, $7
The idea came about after Sam’s friend’s attempted suicide. She realised there was no greeting cards for mental illness, so no way of anyone to show they were thinking about them. Not long after Sam herself was hospitalised with mental health issues and it was then, when she observed how few tokens or gifts anyone received, that she decided to start the company specialising in cards for people with mental health issues. As well as something that people can give to sufferers, the cute cards help to crush the stigma surrounding mental illness.
33-year-old Sam, who has a Masters in Clinical Psychology and personal history of mental illness, comes up with the ideas for the cards, and Trudy — her 28-year-old sister, with a diploma in Graphic Design and experience supporting someone with mental illness — does the illustrations and general creative stuff.
The cards they create are intended to support and inspire hope in sufferers of mental illness, including depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder — and show them that people care without being bothersome or judgmental (which can be pretty hard to get right).
Their Instagram, too, helps to fight the stigma surrounding mental illness with graphics and helpful little captions like: 'Use the ‘N’ word. Are you like me and do you say “Yes” when you really want to say “No”? It’s not a good place to be and it can often leave me feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Try and tune into your feelings and be honest. I’m learning to say No when I don’t really want to do something and it feels wonderful! I’m finding that friends, family and colleagues really do understand that I can’t participate in every activity and it means when I do get involved I’m so much less stressed and more fun! Give it a go.'