Pebble painting to create ‘sea of understanding’ around mental health

Pebble painting parties are being held from Monday to Friday, May 14 to 19
Pebble painting parties are being held from Monday to Friday, May 14 to 19

Pebble painting parties are being hosted in West Sussex as part of Mental Health Awareness Week (May 14-20).

People are being invited to join the free and fun-filled sessions and talk about mental health as part of an anti-stigma campaign.

On Monday, May 14, Coastal West Sussex Mind is hosting pebble painting in Chichester Library from 11am to 3pm, providing a relaxed and informal environment to open up and have a chat.

On Tuesday, May 15, pebble painting takes place in Worthing at Colonnade House (10am to 4pm) and in Midhurst at The Grange Leisure Centre in Midhurst, from 1pm to 5.45pm.

On Wednesday, May 16, the Look and Sea Centre in Littlehampton is hosting the painting session between 10am and 3.30pm and again on Thursday, May 17, at Littlehampton Library, 10am-12noon.

The stones will form part of a giant pebble hunt across the county.

Some of the parties are being hosted by people with a lived experience of a mental health issue who have successfully applied for a Champions Fund grant from Time to Change West Sussex to cover the costs of the events in their own area.

They are calling for people to join the pebble painting trend in the West Sussex Rocks campaign, which has already seen scores of people get creative painting pebbles and help spread the message that it’s OK to talk about mental health.

Louisa Hernandez, anti-stigma co-ordinator at key Time to Change partner Coastal West Sussex Mind, said: “During Mental Health Awareness Week, the pebble parties will be opportunities for people to get together, have fun and talk about mental health.

“Many people express their feelings through their painting or put messages on the stones.

“On the back, they are encouraged to include #westsussexrocks and #timetochangewestsussex which will direct people to where they can find out more.

“At the end of the week, the pebbles will be placed in parks and open spaces where others can find them in a giant pebble hunt.”

Louisa added: “We were so inspired by pebble painting as a fun way to start conversations that we’ve been hosting parties and encouraging local community groups, scouts, schools and employees to host their own, too.

“Please check out the dates and places of our pebble parties and help us break the stony silence around mental health.”