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Dublin: 6°C Friday 14 May 2021

Would you wear a pin to show you will talk to someone about their mental health?

The Hug For Life initiative is hoping that people will wear jewellery that shows that they’re willing to offer a listening ear.


(Vimeo: Mark Nolan)

A NEW NON-PROFIT campaign has designed a range of pins, cuff links, jewellery to encourage greater openness around mental health and suicide.

The Hug For Life initiative is hoping that people will wear the jewellery to show others that they are willing to offer a listening ear to others who are finding it difficult to open up about their problems.

Software designer Mark Nolan is behind the project. Although he doesn’t have a background in mental health issues himself, he says that the rate of suicide in Ireland made himself and colleague sit up and do something.

He says that when people are feeling low an initial connection can be difficult to make, the idea he says came from the ‘Fáinne Gaeilge’ gold ring worn by Irish language speakers:

The idea here was, as with the the Fáinne, to have something attractive to wear all year long. Something relatively discreet that isn’t in your face and that doesn’t have mental health written on it to act as a kind of secret handshake.

Nolan says that the idea is at the early stages of development and that he hopes that  ‘Hug, the Icon’ will be sold through registered mental health charities.

They are currently raising money for the project and have a crowd funding site for those who wish to contribute.

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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