Francesca Timbers is always on the lookout for creative and fashionable ways to raise mental illness awareness. First, she created Motivational Tattoos, a line of temporary tattoos shaped like band-aids featuring motivational affirmations for people with anxiety and depressions. Next, Timbers launched self-care stationary, turning her tattoos designs into stickers and creating dissolving thought cloud notepads.
Now, Timbers is making self-care pins modeled after her temporary tattoo designs. Aside from being fashionable, the pins are also functional. “The pins [were] developed from a study I’d read about how tactile objects and fidgeting can reduce anxiety and increase creativity,” Timbers told The Mighty. The pins feature a tactile surface that’s meant to be rubbed when the person wearing the pin feels anxious.
Timber’s interest in making mental health products comes from her own personal experience living with depression and generalized anxiety disorder. “I studied psychology at my university with the intention to help others like myself,” she said. “I think in life it’s the little things that can make a big difference. I spent a period of my life in the hospital, and I’d often write notes to myself, or on my hands, as a reminder to stay present, and try to keep myself separate from any negative thoughts I had.”
Each pin features the word “breathe” as a reminder to take a step back and breathe. The pins also come with a breathing exercise card outlining the 4-7-8 breathing method, a type of breathing supporting by research. The card walks users through the steps: inhaling through your nose for a count of four, holding your breath for a count of seven and exhaling for a count of eight.
In addition to raising mental illness awareness, Timbers also donations a portion of her proceeds to mental health charities in the U.K., where she is from. So far, she has raised over £10,000 for a number of nonprofit organizations.
Those interested in buying one of Timber’s pins can purchase them through Kickstarter. Pins cost £6 (about $8 USD) and ship internationally.
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