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Charity merman calendar launched in memory of student

The friends and family of a student who had links with Go Higher West Yorkshire have launched a Merman 2019 calendar to raise money for a mental health charity.

The calendar has been created in memory of Ellen Scott, who graduated posthumously in 2018. It aims to raise awareness and funds for Mind, a charity that provides help for people with mental health problems across the country.

Some of Ellen’s male friends and family volunteered to take part in the calendar, in which they remember Ellen’s love of mermaids by posing as their male equivalent, mermen.

Ellen’s mum Anna Scott said “Ellen Scott is the person that this calendar is all about. In Ellen’s last video blog post she said she wanted to dedicate the rest of her life to helping people with mental health issues.

“Ellen is not here to do this so we are doing it for her. This calendar is a walk through Ellen’s life of the people and places she so loved.

“Ellen always kept fish. We had tropical fish when she was growing up and she used to stare into the tanks with wonder. Sea World was mind blowing and she would laugh about wanting to be a mermaid.

“I saw that the Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache club had made a ‘Merbys’ calendar. If only Ellen had waited to see this. She would have laughed so much. It is a silly thing but with a very important message – mental health needs help sometimes.

“We asked permission from the Merbys and their response was brilliant! There really are not enough mermen in the world and we hope our mermen will raise a lot of money for Mind.

“We hope you enjoy the calendar and we would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has bought or displayed one. Mind can really help people like Ellen.”

After Ellen died about £6,000 was raised for Mind through donations, and Ellen’s friends and family are hoping that the calendar will help to raise awareness of the work done by the charity and awareness of Ellen’s story.

Mind are at the forefront of tackling the UK’s mental health problem, and provide support to millions every year.

James Robinson, Head of Public Fundraising and Donor Marketing at Mind added: “On behalf of everyone at Mind I’d like to say a huge thank you to Ellen’s friends and family for choosing to raise funds and awareness for Mind. Every penny raised will fund Mind’s vital work including the Mind Infoline, our advice services and the campaigning Mind does to secure a better deal for the one in four of us who experience a mental health problem each year.”

You can purchase the calendar here: https://mermenformind.wordpress.com/buy-here/

If you are worried about your mental health or wellbeing there are local and national support agencies you can contact.

  • If you need to speak to someone during the Christmas break, we advise you to make an appointment with your GP or contact NHS 111. If you are having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, you should access help immediately; call 999 or go to your local A&E.
  • Call 111 (free-phone, open 24 hours a day) – a trained adviser will ask you a series of questions and immediately direct you to the best service to support your needs.
  • Call the Connect helpline on 0808 800 1212 (free-phone) which gives emotional support and information to people in Leeds every night of the year (6pm-2am).
  • Talk to the Samaritans on 116 123 (free-phone, open 24 hours a day) if you need someone to listen at any time of the day or night.
  • Call Leeds Crisis Assessment Service (CAS) on 0300 300 1485. Call to speak to a highly trained clinician who will ask a series of questions to assess your needs. Leeds CAS is a 24-hour assessment service for people 18 years and over.
  • Information on mental health services in Leeds is provided by Mindwell.
  • The Leeds Crisis Card also has useful information on various sources of support