A heartfelt plea for support for suicide prevention charity, Maytree, and a virtuoso violinist, preceded the presentation of nine Design in Mental Health Awards during the DiMHN’s 2023 well-attended annual conference and exhibition in Coventry in June.
A heartfelt plea for support for suicide prevention charity, Maytree – which runs a house in London’s Finsbury Park where those with suicidal thoughts can spend 4-5 days receiving support in a calming and non-judgmental environment, and an enjoyable performance from a virtuoso violinist during a networking drinks reception, preceded the presentation of nine Design in Mental Health Awards at an evening event held during the organisation’s 2023 annual conference and exhibition in Coventry in June. The Network’s editor, Jonathan Baillie, reports.
The presentation of nine 2023 Design in Mental Health Awards took place in the Premier Lounge on the second floor of the Coventry Building Society Arena at the end of the first day of a well-attended Design in Mental Health 2023 event in early June. Following a drinks reception during which classically trained violinist, Soloise – who has worked with artists including Emeli Sandé, Andrea Bocelli, and Kanye West – entertained guests, Master of Ceremonies, Andy Powell, welcomed those assembled, and said it was ‘great to be here again, celebrating excellence, innovation, and achievement, within the design in mental health community’.
He thanked Soloise for her ‘fantastic performance’, and explained that, as with all DiMHN awards evenings, there was a chosen charity partner – for 2023 this was Maytree – ‘an amazing organisation that supports people in crisis and facing very difficult mental health challenges’. The charity’s’ Chair of Trustees, Terrence Collis, next took to the stage to tell guests a little more about Maytree. Emphasising his many years’ involvement with ‘the suicide prevention world’ (including as a volunteer for the London Samaritans), he said by way of context: “Some time ago, I was at another organisation, and a young woman took us to a hotel where she said she planned to kill herself, having initially called in and talked to one of our volunteers. Fortunately, she didn’t go ahead, and when she subsequently came in to see us at our offices one day, I asked: ‘So that night, what stopped you killing yourself?’ While there many reasons, she said that in the end she had looked around this really cheap hotel and asked herself: ‘Do I really want to die here?’”
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