Postcards of Hope is an art project aimed at encouraging people with experience of mental health needs to share words that they have found hopeful and healing during difficult times.

Often, these phrases are striking in their simplicity, highlighting the power of language and its ability to allow us to bear witness and describe moments of hardship.

Throughout the campaign, a number of cards have focused on perspective, such as Christopher’s card which reminded us that “even where there is poverty there is sunshine” and Denise’s ‘Depression’, which notes that “1 tiny step managed in the darkness is fantastic”.

Diane’s card ‘Happiness’ continues this theme, using a photograph taken at an unconventional angle to emphasise the need to see things in a new way.  The card states that ‘Hope is looking out’, a thoughtful phrase, particularly in conjunction with the photo chosen.

This phrase hints at the internal conflict that many people with depression and other mental health needs feel at times, and the overwhelming sense of being trapped in one’s own internal world, unable to communicate one’s feelings with the outside world.

‘Happiness’ speaks to the importance of finding a new focus, an external “thing” to reach out to in order to overcome feelings of loneliness.

Black Rainbow author Rachel Kelly has described the sense of isolation that she has felt during times of depression, saying: “When I was awake in the dark hours of the night, and suffering from that sense of complete isolation that is at the heart of feeling depressed, I would repeat snatched lines [of poetry] to myself, prayer-like. I wasn’t alone after all.”

Hope, and the restorative powers of prose, allow us to let down the walls and embrace a new perspective.

If you have words that have brought you hope in difficult times, why not share them with us? Click here to find out more about the project and create your own Postcard of Hope.

Gemma Taylor, media assistant.