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Rethinking mental health with music and arts

Published Date: 10 January 2013

rethinkyourmind logoSouth West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust (SWLSTG) has joined the likes of The Samaritans, Black Dog Tribe, Time to Change and the Mental Health Foundation to support a nationwide music and art project that will bang the drum for mental health.

Organisations, celebrities and local NHS Trusts across the country are coming together for Rethink Your Mind, which is running a creative challenge to raise positive awareness of mental health.

Rethink Your Mind is inviting people to write, draw or photograph what it means to gain and maintain good mental health. Entries, which must be submitted by the 15 February 2013, will be showcased on the website.

Whether it's a poem, prose, lyrics or artwork the starting point for all is to expand on the sentence "with good mental health I have..." 

All work submitted to the project will be entered into the main competition and selected positive work chosen by an acclaimed panel of judges will be published in a book, and winning lyrics and art will feature on new singles by Urban Fusion artist Rubie Colt and Midlands band Refuge.

David Bradley rethinkMost importantly, the website and book will provide a valuable mental health help guide that will link up support organisations with the people who need them most.

David Bradley, CEO of SWLSTG (pictured right), said, "Rethink Your Mind is a really interesting and exciting project for SWLSTG to be supporting.  We actively encourage our service users to get involved with the arts and understand the value of giving people the opportunity to channel their creative juices."

David went on to say, "Even if you don't end up being part of a chart topping single everyone who enters the Rethink Your  Mind competition will have made a positive contribution to raising awareness of mental health."

Rethink Your Mind has provided a free platform to mental health groups in the project that will culminate in a grand prize presentation at the House of Lords, hosted by supporter Professor Lord Patel of Bradford OBE.

Rethink Your Mind is the brainchild of SISO Development Worker and Refuge lead singer Peter Hirst, who hopes the project will get people talking positively about mental health.

rethinkyourmind poster"I have Bipolar," he says. "My family were very frightened and lost when I first fell ill. This resource is for all families and every person who needs it, so that they can feel connected at a time when often you feel most disconnected."

"It's such an exciting project to be part of and I can't wait to sing the winning lyrics," adds Rubie, who has joined to widen the appeal to a younger audience, and that's particularly poignant for her.

"Mental health is an issue for all ages, but young people can find it harder to talk about their problems and reach out for help.

"I had a friend who, at just 11, was struggling to cope with exams and his mum's illness. It would be brilliant if this project inspires the setting up of support networks for children and young people."

Go to for competition and entry details.

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