Words by Smiley Team
A man who suffered with his mental health for many years – as well as losing family members to suicide – has created a badge for workwear that encourages people to open up.
Darren James, business development director, at Phoenix Workwear Limited, said he wanted to “taken it upon himself” to make a difference. “This is something I have been thinking of for some time,” he tells Smiley News. “I suffer from anxiety and depression. I wanted to make a change to the industries I've worked in.”
He created the badge himself, then got in contact with Samaritans about how to put a simple, but effective, message out there that would highlight the importance of mental health.
Darren believes the message will spark interest, get people talking, and – most importantly – save lives. The badges are free of charge and he will be giving a donation to the Samaritans for every piece of workwear sold that opts to use the mental health badge.
“The idea is that these will be seen on site and start conversations around mental health,” he says. “Also, someone feeling low in themselves that could be looking for someone to talk to would see the badge and use that number to talk to someone.”
Darren adds: “To the men and women who have the ability to make these changes the big companies, the decision makers, take this on board to help us get the message out to the masses.”
Inspired by creating the badge, Darren is launching a new company in May 2022 – Siarad Supplies – with a company called Selectequip, where all of their supplies will be based around mental health and the message, "It's time to talk". Siarad is Welsh for talk.
USE THE BADGE: if you want this printed on workwear, hoarding, site signage, platform signage, or vans, email [email protected].
DONATE: Donate to the Samaritans to help them answer more calls for people who need support.
WATCH: How to be an LGBTQ+ ally.