Artistic support for mental illness

New art classes and other support for those with mental illness in the Hastings and Rother area have been made possible thanks to the success of a local project.

Wednesday, 13th April 2016, 12:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 10:10 pm
Louise Krystahl and Lee Parlanti pictured at Inkscape, Bexhill. SUS-150610-114229001

The Semicolon project was launched last year by Louise Krystahl and Lee Parlanti, from Inkscape tattoo parlour in Terminus Road, Bexhill.

The Semicolon movement was established in the USA two years ago. People are invited to have a tattoo of a semicolon done to highlight the message that mental illness can affect many people, as well as their families.

The semicolon represents something an author could have ended but it’s not the end of the story.

Semi Colon SUS-160413-092257001

Louise and Lee have been charging a nominal amount for a semicolon tattoo and donating the money to mental health support services in the area.

Louise said: “We had huge success and raised £1,300 with the project. Now we are teaming up with together Your Way in London Road to provide an extra art class a week at the mental heath support centre.

“There is one class running there at the moment and is full to capacity so this extra class is in need and we aim to target a younger age group as well to give them something also.

“The money we have raised will pay for an extra art class a week and we calculate it can run for a year from the money we have raised.

“I have been to the centre. It has great facilities and space and potential for many good thing in the community to help all people that suffer with mental health, but more people need to know about it.

“We charged £15 a tattoo; some were £10 when we first started, and we donated the whole amount. We also provided our time and resources for free and are supporting the ink4auistim campaign.”

The money raised is supporting the new Creative Minds group at the Your Way Centre.

It is for people who don’t necessarily see themselves as creative and can help inspire positive change and build confidence.

Sessions will be running on Thursday afternoons at 73A London Road, Bexhill from the end of this month. They will include mosaic, tie-dye and making wind chimes and dream catchers. You can call 01424 213099 for more information or to book a space.

Louise’s friend Erin Veness, 24, of Church Road, St Leonards, had a semicolon tattoo done and said: “Lou wanted to give something back, a project that involves not just the tattooed community but those with mental illness.

“It’s the experience of having a tattoo that carries so much meaning, personally and universally.”

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