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Bags of support for mental health

Buy a pouch and help to support mental health.

The Bermuda Mental Health Foundation is selling leather document holders as a fundraiser for its upcoming campaign, Rethink Mental Health.

The bags, which have the foundation's initials and a heart, were designed by Patrice Morgan of accessories company Bermuda Born.

“We put a heart as the ‘M' in BMHF to show how much we care about this issue,” said BMHF board member Jodi Lewis. “Owning this bag can show that you understand that mental health is something that affects everyone. Every person on the Island probably knows someone with mental illness and there is no need for shame.”

We are all just one incident away from needing mental health assistance, she added.

“You could be hit by a car tomorrow and need help with memory, or lose a loved one and go into a severe depression, or you could suffer from anxiety. We want people to understand that mental health isn't just about the person over there; it's about everyone.”

She said purchasing one of the special bags was a great way to show support for people with mental illnesses.

“As opposed to donating your money and not seeing a tangible return, you leave with an authentic leather bag,” she said. “They are 100 per cent leather and produced right here in Bermuda.”

The Rethink campaign will include a push to get the necessary protection for those with mental health issues under the Human Rights Act.

“It is a little embarrassing that Bermuda has not done this yet when there are so many other countries that have done this already,” said Ms Lewis. “For a progressive nation, we are really behind; we are just talking about basic human rights.”

The campaign will also include a school tour.

“We won't just be talking about what mental illness is, but also preventive measures,” she said. “We will be talking about strategies to deal with stress and anxiety.”

The campaign will be launched with a “happy hour feel” at Muse Restaurant & Sky Bar on January 9 at 6pm. The pouches will be sold at that time for $150. Part of the proceeds will be used in aid of the Rethink campaign. The bags will then be available at bmhf.bm/rethink-mh-campaign.

To attend the launch, contact Ms Lewis on 705-2816 or info@bmfh.bm. For more about mental illness, visit bmhf.bm or call the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute on 236-3770.

Raising funds and awareness: Produced on the Island, the 100 per cent leather document holders - which boast a heart logo - are being sold in support of the Bermuda Mental Health Foundation's upcoming Rethink Mental Health campaign
<p>The birth of Bermuda Born </p>

Patrice Morgan formed luxury accessories and gift brand Bermuda Born in 2013.

Tired of today’s throwaway culture, it was her idea to create leather products that would last generations.

Her products include tote bags, clutches and cell phone cases with the Bermuda Born logo.

Ms Morgan studied at the London School of Fashion Design and is the founder of Showoff Magazine. She hopes to see the Bermuda Born brand go worldwide and has sought funding help for her business through websites such as indiegogo.com.

Look for Bermuda Born on Facebook.

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Published December 31, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated December 31, 2014 at 1:50 pm)

Bags of support for mental health

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