Sock it to Stigma

Mental illness in children and young people has risen since 2004, with one in eight 5-19 year olds now having diagnosed mental health issues – this equates to approximately 1.4 million children across the UK. Emotional disorders, such as anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar and OCD are the most common mental illnesses amongst young people.

It has also been found that rates of mental health issues increase with age, with nearly 17% of 17-19-year olds struggling with mental illness.

Not all of these children will feel able to speak out and seek the help and support that they need, and will instead suffer in silence due to the stigma surrounding mental illness.

On the 8th of February 2019, we are asking everyone to take part and #SockItToStigma by wearing brightly coloured socks as a way of showing that they are open to creating positive conversations about mental illness and are prepared to listen and support those who need it. We would suggest a donation of £1 per person to take part, however every penny helps!

We have provided a few activity ideas too, including a Happy Cube, Fortune Teller and a Sock It Bunting template, to encourage people to create their own displays, which can be put up around their school or work environment by way of raising awareness and showing that they provide a supportive environment for those who may be struggling. You can find all of these here.

We want to ensure that all children and young people struggling with a mental illness have the confidence to speak out about how they are feeling, before it’s too late. Doing this can be daunting in itself, due to the negative stigma that surrounds mental illness, which is why we all need to come together to ensure that everyone feels able to hold open conversations about mental health.

We would love for you to send images of your socks, fundraisers and buntings and you can share them with us either by tagging us on social media (@Shaw_Mind on Twitter or @shawmindfoundation on Facebook) or by emailing them to us.

We want this event to become a key date in everyone’s diaries – the day that everyone begins to talk more openly and consciously about mental illness, which is why we need your support to make it a huge success.


The Shaw Mind Foundation is an organisation focused on improving the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people, and money raised from these events will go towards providing mental health education to as many schools as possible ahead of government plans to make it part of the curriculum in 2020 and supporting children and families affected by mental illness.