Pass the Parcel Becomes a Mental Health Campaign

Posted by See Me, 1 September 2020

People are being encouraged to ‘Pass the Parcel’ to get people talking
about mental health.

The new campaign has been created by our champion Dawn Getliffe, along with support from us.

The idea behind the Pass the Parcel campaign is that people will send a parcel to someone they care about, or someone they think might be struggling, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, to show them that it is good to talk about mental health and not something that people should feel ashamed or embarrassed to speak about. When someone receives a parcel, they can then create their own parcel and send it on to someone else, to help spread conversations on mental health, to tackle the stigma around it.

Dawn, 28, from Aberdeen came up with the idea because she wanted to find a different way to get people speaking about mental health in reaction to the pandemic. She wanted to show how important acts of kindness are to help people who are struggling, as well as find a way of starting conversations on mental health.

She said: “I think mental stigma absolutely does stop us talking about our mental health. I think we have got it into our heads somehow that everyone else in the world has it worse than us, or our feelings are not valid. I think it is important to remember that your feelings are just as valid as your neighbour, or your friend, or family and if they came to you, you would listen to them, so why don’t we think we deserve to be listened to?

“One of the key reasons I developed Pass the Parcel was to reduce mental health stigma through having more conversations about mental health. Even just asking a friend are you okay? Or, how are you finding things in these times, what are you doing to stay well?  I think conversations like these are really important and we can encourage these conversations through Pass the Parcel.

“Pass the Parcel is both a random act of kindness and a conversation starter about mental health. So you are saying to someone I care about you, I hope you stay well, I’m giving you a treat and I want you also to talk to me about your mental health because it is so important.”

People can put whatever they like in the parcel, alongside downloadable resources from the See Me website, which can help people who are struggling with their mental health, including a colour-in postcard and tips on how to talk about mental health.

See Me social movement officer, Lynn Pilkington, said: “Too many people with mental health problems feel isolated and worry about the impact of telling someone they’re struggling, especially right now. But conversations have the power to change lives, however they take place.

“If someone you know is struggling download our resources and create your own parcel. Then send it to a neighbour, friend or colleague and encourage them to do the same.

“If you use social media you can also share your photos online using the #SeeMePassTheParcel hashtag and tag others so that they can get involved.”

You can find out more, and download resources for your own parcel below. 

Download Resources

Find out more about 'Pass the Parcel' and download your resources below. 

Get Resources