Mental health put in focus

Hannah Brennan and Emily Scriminger-Faulkner, organisers of Laid Bear. EMN-200701-133041001
Hannah Brennan and Emily Scriminger-Faulkner, organisers of Laid Bear. EMN-200701-133041001

A local photographer and an amateur model are planning a campaigning event for mental health awareness where volunteers will become models for a day.

Hannah Lucy Brennan, who runs Cassoni Photography, and Emily Scriminger-Faulkner, both from Sleaford, are launching their campaign called Laid Bear on February 26 at the Legionnaire’s Club.

Hannah said: “I’ve got about 50 people interested in volunteering, who will be models, and I’ve got a make-up artist and hairdesser who is willing to help them feel comfortable too.

“I’ll be taking each individuals’ photos, and they will have a small paragraph written by themselves about how their disorder affects them with day to day routines and so on.”

The text will be placed over their photos and shared at the show. Hannah said: “I’m looking for male and female models to come forward who are living with mental health disorders or are victims of abuse, who are feeling brave enough to have a photo taken of themselves in a very raw and truthful way.

“They can write a quote, or a piece of advice, something that they think of, and I will edit that text onto the photo.

“We’re not raising money, but we’re raising awareness.”

Hannah said that she and Emily have been discriminated against in the past due to their mental health conditions. Hannah has suffered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which eventually cost her her job. She said: “A company in health care ‘let me go’ because I have extreme paranoia. I have been admitted into hospital and stayed at crisis houses. I’m on medication to make sure I can go about my daily routines.

“My new employers are very supportive helping you to strive for more and not settle for second best.”

Hannah said she loves doing charity work and on the day, they will have crisis counsellors and speakers who will be giving doing talks and presentations as well as staying on to talk to people afterwards.

Emily is a volunteer crisis counsellor for a charity called Shout and will be speaking at the event, having previously overcome self-harming six years ago. She hopes the event will bring people together in a shared experience.

She is surprised to find so many people affected locally and a number of interested people are coming from further afield and said: “There will be people at various stages. I am now recovered, married and with kids - it gets better - but for some it may have only been weeks down the line. We are still living with mental health issues.”

Volunteer models should message via: www.facebook.com/cassoniphotography