After experiencing a period of poor mental health after graduating from university, I had a candid conversation with my Dad. He told me about his 20s, how he had a breakdown aged 26 - and how at that moment life seemed so hopeless that he could never have imagined that his life would pan out like it did. After sharing his story, he spoke about how in fact every young man feels this to an extent - and he was right. All of my friends have at one point or another felt a sense of being lost after finishing Uni. I believe that a large part of the male mental health crisis that is happening in the UK today is due to our perception of success. We flaunt the end product but do not discuss the process, the lows and the dead ends.
With Letter of Hope, I aim to start this conversation by writing to ‘successful’ men, and asking them to write a letter to their younger self before their success, explaining how despite things being bleak at that moment - it will get better.
I am reaching out to musicians, actors, rappers, artists film-makers, athletes and once I have enough letters, I plan to publish them in a book on ‘Unbound’, and develop a website where the book can be bought (proceeds going to the CALM) and where members of the public can write their own letters, and publish them.
I created some screen printed posters of stamps, which all contain hidden positive messages. These are going to be sold to raise more funds for CALM.