Sisters call for free expression to raise awareness of mental health
THREE sisters from Langton Green have been encouraging their peers to be artistic in order to raise awareness of mental health and support the charity Mind.
Annabel, aged 9, Mae, 7, and Alice Sims, 5, originated an idea called The Big Picture, in which they urged children to paint in whatever shape or form they liked because creativity has been proved to help relax and stimulate the mind.
More than 30 children from the primary schools in Langton Green and Penshurst Primary – where the siblings are pupils – attended the event, which was held outside Langton Pavilion Cafe.
“We wanted children to come and paint their own canvas and express themselves,” the sisters said. “People can have mental health problems in any way, they can be big or small. We want a lot of people to be aware of mental health.”
The artists chose canvases of various sizes and painted whatever came into their minds using water-based colours and different sized brushes. They created images of landscapes, seascapes and flowers, along with patterns and mark-making. The artwork was then put on display inside and outside the café.
Mum Emma Sims said: “Creativity has the power to open up conversation and can create dialogue when words can sometimes be hard. It is therapeutic in many ways.
“Having the space and opportunity to create freely without boundaries allowed the children to express themselves and paint whatever came into their imagination.”
She added: “It has created a lot of conversation about mental health in families and has received extremely positive feedback.
“Mental health awareness affects us all, and by working together on projects within the community we can help to fight stigmas and increase positive wellbeing.”
For more information about the mental health charity Mind, visit www.mind.org.uk
PICTURE: IN THE MIND’S EYE: (L-R) Alice, Annabel and Mae Sims with their creations