Suicide Prevention Activist Mental Health Advocate Founder of the Sunflower Suicide Prevention Collective
REINVENTING 21st CENTURY MENTAL HEALTH:
There is a mental health crisis where "close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds" (WHO 2020). An alternative approach is crucially needed if we want sustainable healthy minds.
Mental health is not linear but it is the connection you have with yourself that matters most. However, there is an equally important aspect that is becoming increasingly overlooked in this fast paced world; togetherness.
That is why Loo is using creativity in a community set up to create change amongst the mental health landscape in the form of the Sunflower Suicide Prevention Collective.
Just as a sunflower grows towards sunlight in order to bloom, we can turn towards others and ourselves to find lightness.
Sunflowers truly should be the symbol of light and hope for those living through dark times.
This woman's story is an inspiring one, after experiencing a mental breakdown whilst studying Law at the University of Bristol and subsequently trying to take her own life she went onto completely re-evaluate her life. She started to build a deeper and richer connection with herself and others. Up until this stage of reflection, she had not realised the importance of both a community and creative approach to one's overall wellbeing. It came to light that she needed to stand up and use her creative voice within the mental health landscape; a true creativist!
Loo became a Time to Change Champion, a certified Mental Health First Aider and a trained Mental Health Recovery Worker & Wellbeing Tutor.
She also started to live life on the road in her campervan; big, blue and beautiful Vivi. Van life truly reinvented what her mental health and depression looks like for her.
- Present -
Bristol based Loo continues to balance being a mental health professional alongside shining light for suicide prevention through her activism and advocacy.
SUNFLOWER SUICIDE PREVENTION COLLECTIVE
-Using community and creativity to shine some lightness into someone's day-
Sunflower Suicide Prevention Project:
This project sowed the seeds into the Sunflower Suicide Prevention Collective in 2019 by creating sunflower coloured pom poms with attached grounding in the moment quotes for those going through dark times.
Our pom poms are free for those who seek inner strength and a reminder that they are not alone during the darkest of times. They are located in university campuses, green spaces, cafes, train stations, and many other locations.
The conversations which happen alongside creating at the Sunflower Self Compassion Workshops are invaluable in helping people feel they are not alone as well as creating some space for themselves.
A huge thank you goes to Bristol Independent Mental Health Network for kick starting this project.