Blue Monday, 21st January 2019.
Suki the Pom set up shop in Shoreditch.
The mission: to bring joy to as many people as possible.
It felt great to do our first little event as part of our growing Shades Of Blue mental health awareness platform. We set up a stall with Suki and offered puppy cuddles to passers by to brighten their day.
I’ve seen a number of posts about how frustrating it is that people only recognise depression on these set days of the year – and I get that – mental health doesn’t conveniently slot into annual holidays and the commercialisation of mental illness by brands can be pretty gross. I had more than a handful of “Blue Monday X% discount” emails in my inbox this morning and my reflex response was definitely Go Fuck Yourself You Ignorant Twats. But let’s not let that get in the way of why a day like this is a good thing.
As a lifelong depression sufferer (with a potent dash of anxiety and PTSD for good measure) I think any day that gets more people talking is something to be celebrated. Today we had some thought provoking conversations about mental health and found a collective desire for destigmatisation. We learned about some incredible, inspiring people doing their bit to help. We watched people come out of their shell as Suki worked her canine magic on them. I’d love nothing more than to run a puppy cuddle stand every day of the year – but given it’s not entirely practical, a day like Blue Monday gives us a perfect opportunity to do it, in a context where we can really get people thinking and talking.