A powerful image showing the number of children who lost their lives to suicide is being shared.
The photo shows 226 pairs of shoes – representing the number of schoolchildren to take their own lives in 2017.
And as Children’s Mental Health Week 2020 gets underway, it is once again going viral.
The Millie’s Trust charity in Stockport has shared it to mark the start of the week and to highlight youth mental health first aid courses it is launching over the next few months.
And the post has had a massive reaction from followers, many of them praising the charity for raising awareness and putting the courses on.
One said: “At last it’s being recognised. For too long it has been ignored. Good luck with the course, I’m positive you will have more bookings than places available.”
While another added: “As someone who has struggled with poor mental health since I was six or seven, I am so pleased this is being spoken about, too many times I felt so low that I tried to do the same as these kids.
“I’m a huge believer that adults need to open up to kids about their struggles to let kids know it’s OK to seek help and it’s OK to not be OK mentally.
“They should know that seeking help for their mental health is just as normal as seeking help for their physical health. Hopefully with things like this, talking and bringing it to the forefront will lower these statistics as soon as possible.”
The shoe display was created by national mental health charity Chasing The Stigma, which worked with Radio City Talk to put it together at Liverpool’s St George’s Hall.
The post said: “To mark the start of #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek Chasing the Stigma have teamed up with @RadioCityTalk for a “lost childhoods” #MentalHealthMonday special. These shoes on the steps of St George’s Hall represent the 226 school children who lost their lives to suicide in 2017.”
The charity’s Jake Mills, who came up with the idea with presenter Mick Coyle, told the M.E.N: “We wanted to create something a bit more visual to make people realise the reality of the numbers.”
He added: “We wanted to make sure we got it right so worked with other organisations like Papyrus and The Oscar Phillips Foundation to make sure we could offer help and support alongside a really moving and hard hitting campaign.”
Their post also received hundreds of comments from people, with many praising the display for being so ‘hard hitting’.
One said: “That statistic is beyond words, suffering in silence should be no more, times are changing and mental health issues are becoming more and more apparent, the sight of those shoes really does embed an image in your head and heavy on your heart.”
Chasing The Stigman has created the Hub of Hope website, offering the first of its kind mental health database that makes help and support as easy as possible to find.
People can simply enter their postcode to find services close to home. It is also available as a free app.
This content was originally published here.