Patients suffering from mental ill health can now get a virtual hug thanks to local youngsters.
Blackpool Carers Centre held a competition for children who use its services to design a “wellness card” for inpatients at Parkwood, based on the Blackpool Victoria Hospital site.
The two winning designs have been made into special cards to go into every welcome pack given to patients entering the Parkwood facility.
They are designed to lift spirits and remind the sufferer they have support.
The idea came after TV presenter Trisha Goddard – who has personal experience of depression and spent time in a psychiatric hospital – was quoted as saying: “There are no ‘get well soon’ cards with mental illness.”
Mary Dee Thompson and Pearl Applin, both aged 10, were chosen as the winners and were presented with a £20 gift voucher each for The Odeon Cinema.
Pearl’s design features a rainbow, with the words “Take one day at a time” on the front, while Mary Dee’s simply featured one short, but powerful, word – love. Both girls had written supportive messages inside.
The Rotary Club of Blackpool Palatine donated the funds to produce the cards.
Cassie Spinks-Lewis, of Blackpool Carers Centre, said: “We were inspired by Trisha Goddard’s comment there are no get well cards available for people with mental ill health. It’s not really a case of getting well, like a broken leg, it’s more of a process.
“We are hoping the cards will let patients know they are not alone. We hope they will provide a supportive message, let them know someone is thinking of them and could provide a talking point and a way in for people to talk about mental health.
“We have put the carers centre contact details on the back of the card, so relatives can get in touch if they would like help.”