Each Christmas there is a concentrated effort to raise awareness for specific issues effecting people all across the country. This year, the Guardian and Observer Christmas Appeal will aim to raise money for nine UK charities, all of which specialise in awareness and resources for mental health.
The appeal has a wide range and encompasses nationwide charities along with smaller local groups. It’s been acknowledged that there are still several failings in the health industry when it comes to tackling mental health issues, from damagingly pervasive stereotypes to a worrying lack of resources and services for people suffering from mental illness. The appeal will be promoting awareness for the following charities:
- Centre for Mental Health – an independent national charity that focuses on research, changes in policy and the provision of services for people of all ages that are experiencing mental health difficulties.
- CoolTan Arts – Focuses on art and improving mental wellbeing through creativity. Offers workshops, advocacy training and a variety of creative projects.
- Gardening Leave – This charity aims to help armed forces veterans combat their mental health issues through horticulture and gardening.
- Kidstime Foundation – A charity that supports children and young people acting as carers to mentally ill parents and siblings and children affected by their parent or sibling’s mental illness.
- MAC-UK – This charity works on eroding the stigma surrounding mental health in young people, the group that often needs the most help but receives the least in terms of resources and support.
- Mind – A charity that offers support and advice for people suffering from mental illness.
- Rethink Mental Illness – A membership organisation governed by people that live with and have lived through mental illness, the charity supports almost 60,000 people each year.
- Samaritans – One of the best known charities in the UK, the Samaritans provide an around the clock service to help reduce suicides.
- Star Wards – Focuses on improving the lives and therapeutic care of patients in mental health wards along with aiding staff and visitors.
If you want to get involved with the appeal this year and do your part for mental health, there are plenty of ways to raise money for such charities over the Christmas holidays. Aside from simply donating, you also have the opportunity to raise some awareness and extra cash yourself if you so choose.
For example, if you have access to some prizes and a community willing to take part, then why not put on a raffle in your town? There are always plenty of events going on across the country at this time of year and plenty of people are eager to do their bit; all you have to do is get some prizes and draw tickets together and start planning. A raffle is a great way to raise money for your chosen charity.
If you do decide to participate in the appeal, you might also consider getting customized raffle tickets in order to further raise awareness. It helps people to identify your cause and know what they’re donating money towards. It’s a quirky and interesting way to get people involved whilst doing something great for the community at large.