Ānene Charities: Art Refuge and Place2Be

World Mental Health Day

This #worldmentalhealthday I feel so, so grateful that the world is changing for the better. 
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As a child at school in the 1980's (yes, I am that old), the stigma associated with mental health challenges was overwhelming, it was the family skeleton in the closet that we had to just get through. It was suggested I didn't talk to anyone about it - particularly not friends or a potential boyfriend to the point I don't think I talked to my younger brother and sister about it until much later on - the burden of my mothers illness was mine and my fathers to bear. 
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The implications for my own mental health were wide and included psychosomatic migraines amongst other physical responses to the stress that was present in our daily lives. And as the above poster suggests - I didn't know the answers, I didn't know the question - and I really didn't have someone to talk to about it. 
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There was no support network, there was no staff training or SENCO let alone someone trained to look after the emotional needs of a child. 
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I am grateful that I found two mechanisms to help me cope with this stress, in sport where I played county level hockey from the age of 11 to 26 and through art, which I fell out with at high school but have reclaimed now with the completion of an Art & Design foundation and with the development and launch of Anene as a creative and conscious fashion business. 
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As an adult and parent I know that I am hyper-sensitive to the emotional needs of my own children and to be honest I don't always get that right, in fact I often get it very wrong, but I'm the first to admit it and try and work toward change and support. 
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As a child of a family that lived through the highs and lows that come with supporting someone with challenges I feel a deep gratitude that the tide is turning and systems and support networks are being put in place for generations to come. 
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This is why Ānene is evolving to be part of the change we want to see in the world - supporting #mentalhealthashealth, destigmatising the label of #mentalhealth and is why 10% of our profit goes to Place2Be who support pupils, families and staff in UK schools. 
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If you want to hear more about Ānene's journey and be the first to hear about new developments - including the soon to be launched #limitededition winter coats and felt earrings, make sure you sign up to the Ānene newsletter via the link below. 

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