Discover the Mental Health Cards from The Paper Elephant Project
New mental health cards send a message of support to those in need.
Whilst the sending of cards for physical health problems is common, research has revealed this doesn’t carry across to mental health problems. In fact, those experiencing non-physical illnesses rarely receive a greetings card at all.
Often the card sending ritual seems to be missed due to a feeling of awkwardness; people simply don’t know what to say, or don’t know whether it’s right to say anything at all.
The traditional get well card seems inappropriate and sending a blank greeting card seems even more daunting, with the sender struggling to find the right words or fearing they may say the wrong thing.
Sadly, this often means that a lot of the time people say nothing at all. To someone already experiencing the feelings of isolation and unworthiness that often comes with mental health problems, this can make them feel even more alone.
Discovering this very real issue, designer Rebecca McMillan set about creating a series of mental health cards, and The Paper Elephant Project was born.
Along with her partner Karl Maguire, Rebecca created The Paper Elephant Project as a charitable sideline to their company, Wildflower Illustration Co; a small business where the pair sell illustrated greetings cards & art prints.
The goal was to address the ‘elephant in the room’; confronting mental health problems with a range of tastefully illustrated mental health cards that took away doubt and said the right thing.
Working in partnership with mental health charity The Shaw Mind Foundation, the greeting cards include messages of support suggested by a psychologist, which aim to offer a token of love, care and hope at a time when it is most needed.
Each of the cards is carefully designed, with a lot of thought. As well as being a kind way to reach out to someone diagnosed with a mental health problem, they can also be sent to anyone as a message of support in a difficult time, or as a sign of friendship.
With this new greetings card range Rebecca and Karl are taking us back to the fundamental purpose of cards, to give us the chance to make someone’s day better.
Alongside providing a little boost to the recipient, the greetings cards are doing good in the wider world too. With 20p from every card sold being donated directly to The Shaw Mind Foundation.
About The Paper Elephant Project
The Paper Elephant Project began early last year when Rebecca attended an event, which highlighted how often people who return to the workplace following time off from a mental illness report that not a single colleague acknowledged their illness.
Seeing that this was hugely different to those who suffer physical health problems, Rebecca set about thinking about why this happened and what she could do.
Rebecca turned immediately to close friend Bex Coxon, a documentary maker and writer; who believes the lack of education around mental health is one of the most pressing issues of our time. As well as experiencing mental illness personally and through family and friends, Bex has trained as a helpline counsellor, volunteers for various mental health charities, and has worked as a journalist for a mental health magazine. As a documentary maker, she has created films involving people with mental health issues for the BBC and Channel 4; with this wealth of experience Bex was well placed to offer some words of wisdom in the development of the mental health cards.
Bex suggested joining forces with The Shaw Mind Foundation, a charity keen to tackle the stigma that can come with mental health issues. Working closely with Bex and The Shaw Mind Foundation, Karl and Rebecca set about designing a range of greetings cards, and The Paper Elephant took its first steps into the world of greetings cards.
The Paper Elephant Mental Health Cards Collection
Today The Paper Elephant mental health greetings cards collection features 12 card designs with beautiful, delicate illustrations and supportive phrases. Each card retails at £3.50 each and is available to purchase from the project website.
If you want to find out more about this exciting greetings card project, or pick up some cards for yourself please visit the The Paper Elephant website.