Pop-up artist hoping to expand ‘don’t suffer’ message beyond Sheffield

16 May 2018

A Sheffield artist is hoping to expand his message through Sheffield and beyond, by working with Samaritans and Sheffield Mind to send his work and leaflets around the country by mail.

Jarrad Leary, 30 from Deepcar, aims to get people talking about suicide and mental health by pinning up art of various celebrities who have either suffered from mental health or suicide such as Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain, with the words ‘don’t suffer’ below.

Jarrad said: “Although I know that a picture on the street is not going to necessarily save someone’s life, what it might do is make them think if know someone who is struggling at the moment and it might spark the thought of maybe I should give them a call and check that they’re alright.”

The project started in Jarrad’s home town of Stocksbridge and has spread across the city, the artist is now planning on expanding out of Sheffield by sending prints, along with leaflets from Samaritans and Sheffield Mind, to random addresses across the country.

Jarrad said: “Putting it out on the street is great and people see it but they aren’t lasting long enough on the street, I am essentially shoving the message down people’s throats by sending it to their homes.”

Sheffield Mind, a local organisation that focus on mental health, said: “It’s hugely important for people to be able to talk about their mental health or just about how they’re feeling. People still experience stigma and worry about how a disclosure about mental health issues might impact on their job prospects.

“We work with over 1000 clients a year and answer many phone calls and emails from people who are in distress and need advice or a listening ear. We signpost to other services and do our best to enable people to find the support they need. People know and trust Sheffield Mind.”

Much of the pop-up art also features the phone number for Samaritans, a charity who offer round the clock support for people who are having suicidal thoughts.

Jarrad has been creative painting for around 7 years and attributes his personal mental recovery to creating art pieces.

Written by Jamie Van Bragt

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