Emergency art appeal as mental health impact of coronavirus hits

An emergency appeal for mental health charities has been launched to tackle the ‘mental health emergency’ caused by the current health crisis.

The #CreateArt4Hope appeal organised by The Visual Artists Association and Chester Arts Fair aims to raise £100,000 for mental health charities to deliver vital front-line services.

People who donate “no matter how small” will receive a collection of four A3 size limited edition prints that organisers say are “worth hundreds of pounds”

The prints will be of artwork created by award-winning artists’ including international sculptor Emma Rodgers, illustrator Carne Griffiths, fine landscape artist Michael Batey and contemporary animal painter, Tammy Walters.

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Laura O’Hare, Director of the appeal said: “It is a mental health emergency and artists want to support the nation in the effort to fight this pandemic.

Helplines and support groups

The following are helplines and support networks for people to talk to, mostly listed on the NHS Choices website

  • Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you're feeling, or if you're worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org.
  • Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won't show up on your phone bill.
  • PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is an organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
  • Mind (0300 123 3393) is a charity providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
  • Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.
  • Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying.
  • Hub of Hope is the UK’s most comprehensive national mental health support database. Download the free app, visit hubofhope.co.uk or text HOPE to 85258 to find relevant services near you.
  • Young Persons Advisory Service – Providing mental health and emotional wellbeing services for Liverpool’s children, young people and families. tel: 0151 707 1025 email: support@ypas.org.uk
  • Paul's Place – providing free counselling and group sessions to anyone living in Merseyside who has lost a family member or friend to suicide. Tel: 0151 226 0696 or email: paulsplace@beaconcounsellingtrust.co.uk

“The #CreateArt4Hope appeal makes art accessible to all, given the financial hardship some are facing.

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“Throughout the pandemic, art has played an important role in supporting the nation's mental health.

‘Peace’ by Carne Griffiths: one of the prints people who donate to the charity appeal will receive

“There have been a number of viral art initiatives including the Rainbow Appeal, Portraits for NHS, as well as an upsurge in people taking online art courses.

Rise Up – The Dove’ by Emma Rogers: one of the prints people who donate to the charity appeal will receive

“This appeal is a way to thank you for your donations to support mental health services during the crisis.”

Beth Knudsen from the charity Mind said it was important to take action now as the impact of coronavirus on mental health is starting to have an impact.

‘The Stallion’ by Tammy Walters: one of the prints people who donate to the appeal will receive

She added: “This is our window of opportunity to support vital services.

“A donation to Mind supports everyone experiencing a mental health problem during these difficult times – whether they’re struggling with isolation, anxious about their or their loved one’s health, worrying about the future, or fighting on the frontline to save lives.”

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The appeal closes at midnight on June 30.

To receive the free artwork collection, make a charitable donation on the www.createart4hope.co.uk fundraising page.

The limited-edition art collection comes with a stamp and certificate of authenticity.

Organisers are also planning to release a second collection of artwork at a later date.