Seven illustrators explore mental health

To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, we asked seven illustrators to create pieces of artwork depicting their personal experiences of mental health at this time.

JAEL UMERAH-MAKELEMI

It may feel like a dark and lonely world, but you’re not alone.

From time to time it may feel like a dark and lonely world. It may feel like no one understands or there’s no one to turn to. But you’ll eventually realise that those feelings are temporary because there’s always someone that cares. (Words and artwork by @nubiartuk)

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FLO PERRY

My lockdown hobbies vs yours

The only self improvement I've been working on is perfecting my Nessa impression. (Words and artwork by @floperrydraws)

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KINGSLEY NEBECHI

A lot of us are supporting both ourselves and others during complex times. You may be the shoulder that loved ones lean on, but please remember you can also find support in others too. You might need to find the courage to reach out and ask for help more than once, but you don’t need to suffer in silence. (Words and artwork by artist @kingsleynebechi)

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HENRY JAMES GARRETT

Dog

One challenge that many people encounter when working on their mental health is that sometimes the things which are making us mentally unwell are connected to the things we value about ourselves. I, for example, love that I’m thoughtful, but recognise that my overthinking is connected to my anxiety. Thinking deeply is a good thing but ruminating obsessively on the same thought is when I get into anxiety trouble; working out how to separate the two is something I’m working on. (Words and artwork by @henryjgarrett)

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DANDY

Your worth is not dictated by your productivity.

You might feel overwhelmed by all the things you feel you should be doing. Remember, you are enough as you are. (Artwork by @dandydoodlez)

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RUBY ELLIOT

Pressure

Being in touch with everyone all the time can be overwhelming, sometimes a small text is all you need. (Words and artwork by @rubyetc_)

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ANA CURBELO

My flat doesn’t have a garden, but my body is growing one. It's been liberating embracing my body in its natural state lately. (Words and artwork by @untepid)

If you need support

You should always tell someone about the things you’re worried about. You can tell a friend, parent, guardian, teacher or another trusted adult. If you're struggling with your mental health, going to your GP can be a good place to start to find help. Your GP can let you know what support is available to you, suggest different types of treatment and offer regular check-ups to see how you’re doing.

If you're in need of in-the-moment support you can contact Shout 85258. It's a free, 24/7 text messenger support service for anyone in the UK. Text the word “SHOUT” or “YM” to 85258 to start a conversation.

There are more links to helpful organisations on BBC Action Line.

The OU on Mental Health
What is Toxic Productivity?
Talking is a strength, not a weakness