STYLE

How Changing Rooms In Primark And Zara Could Offer A Lifeline To Those With Mental Health Issues

Every day should be World Mental Health Day.

10/10/2017 15:50 BST | Updated 11/10/2017 09:35 BST

High street fashion brands, including Primark and Topshop, are being called upon to use their changing rooms to let people struggling with mental health issues know they’re not alone.

Mental health company, the Self Esteem Team (SET) is urging shops to put up posters in fitting rooms that encourage people to ask for help from the Samaritans, CALM and Childline.  

One of SET’s co-founders, Nadia Mendoza, told HuffPost UK they timed their appeal to coincide with World Mental Health Day, but they hope its impact will continue on long after the day is over.

“While it is great to to see social media awash with #WorldMentalHealthDay hashtags, our concern is what happens to the other 364 days? Every day should be WMHD,” she said.

SET Posters

The goal of the campaign is to normalise talking about mental health issues with the hope that it will potentially save a life.  

“In the UK and Ireland, these is one death by suicide every two hours – we believe this is preventable,” said Mendoza.

“We have First Aid kits with plasters in shops and offices and classrooms, why not a Mental First Aid equivalent?   

“Right now, posters with helplines are located at peak crisis points, like bridges and train stations, often when it is too late. Imagine if they were in places where people could see before they hit crisis?”

Mendoza and her team are currently waiting on responses from: Selfridges, Debenhams, New Look, Sports Direct, M&S, Zara, John Lewis, Topshop, Topman, River Island, Oasis, Miss Selfridge, Matalan, TK Maxx and Primark.

So the next time you shop your favourite brand, maybe you’ll see one of the posters. If not, jump on board and support the campaign to broaden the conversation on mental health. 

Steve Russell via Getty Images