Jo Malone London shine a light on mental health by partnering with Pieta House
03rd Jul 2019
For the first time, Jo Malone London will be supporting an Irish charity through the sales of their Charity Home Candle Collection.
Since 2012, Jo Malone London has been shining a light on mental health with their charity candles, making a donation equal to 75% of the retail price which supports those affected by mental health problems.
“Jo Malone London’s charity partnerships began in 2012 with a charity garden, The Old English Garden in London,” says Jo Malone London Fragrance and Lifestyle Expert, Emma South. “We’ve got a natural affinity with gardens. We realized our growing area of interest was the restorative and therapeutic powers that gardening has and from there, we started to work with more charities that focus specifically on helping people with mental ill health. We work with charities like the NSPCC, giving people the best start early in life to make sure that we are addressing issues early on, same as with the Anna Freud, which is about talking about our feelings early on in life.”
This year, for the first time, Jo Malone London will partner with an Irish charity, Pieta House, supporting funding for their Resilience Academy. “We know that more than half of adult mental ill health problems start before the age of 14 so we wanted to help speak to young people and address the issues early on,” says Emma.
How a candle can make a difference
“To partner with Jo Malone is very symbolic of what we’re about, which is really to bring light into dark places,” says Elaine Austin, CEO of Pieta House. “The candle itself, the essence of it is so symbolic.”
“At Pieta House, 85% of funding comes from our public fundraising so this partnership means so much to us. It means that we can deliver the Resilience Academy and this partnership has really facilitated and enabled us to do that.”
The Resilience Academy
“In Pieta House, there are three areas of service,” says Elaine. “At its heart is our intervention services, where we offer free counselling and therapy for crisis intervention for people experiencing suicidal ideation or engaging in self-harm. We also offer bereavement services where our counsellor will support and visit families directly after the experience of losing a loved one to suicide. The last service that we offer is the Resilience Academy. It’s a six-week program in schools to support children to start to be aware of their mental well being. It’s so important for us to expand on our prevention service, because hopefully in time, what you want is that the prevention services reduce the need for crisis intervention for suicide ideation. Ultimately we’re hoping to be able to reduce the number of people that we lose to suicide.”
Kim Dempsey works with Pieta House on their Resilience Academy, where a team of two facilitators go directly into schools for six consecutive Mondays. “We don’t just go and support young people, we also do a teacher support session,” says Kim, “which is really important, because teachers are dealing with young people every single day, so that they can spot signs. We also give teachers the information of support services that are in their area, and not just Pieta House, because we want to encourage them to encourage young people to reach out to services earlier in the aid of prevention.
How it works
“Students get to choose four modules from eight that they want to complete during the duration,” says Kim, “which were developed with young people and experts in the area, so they are really relevant for second-year students; body image, substance use, mental health, managing school stress and sexuality are a couple of the modules we offer. For four weeks we do a foundation, which is the introduction sessions, where we discuss coping strategies, look at unhelpful thinking styles and perception, how we might understand our emotions and our behaviour. That’s the core that feeds through – regardless of the situation, we can use these tools. The students then have the four modules of their choice and they can anonymously select them. We give out anonymous sheets, they tick what their choices are, and then they hand it up, so if you are someone who might be getting bullied at the moment, you can ask for the bullying module without expressing it.”
The Pieta House wristband
“For our last session, we do a consolidation and debriefing session where we go over some of the things we covered, remind people to look at the coping skills they worked on throughout the six weeks, we signpost to a lot of services,” explains Kim. “We also give out our Pieta House wristband with the number for our free hotline for people who are experiencing suicidal ideation. If they give it a call, on 1800 247 247, and we remind them of this in every single session, if you are at that point, or you’re worried about a friend, or a parent is worried about a child, they can contact for support. There are fully trained therapists on the line. It’s so important that young people walk away knowing that if they reach that point of crisis, this wristband is there for them.”
The wristband also works in a number of different ways, says Kim. “My son has the wristband and one day a second-year student came up to him and said, “Where’d you get the wristband?” He didn’t really talk to this guy before and he told him I worked there. The student said, “Oh, I used Pieta House last year. Will you ask your mam for one for me?” I just thought, what a fantastic moment, where a child aged 14 felt comfortable to express to somebody they don’t normally communicate with that they’d used Pieta House’s services. I did send him a wristband by the way! But it shows the power of the conversations that can happen afterwards. What stops people sometimes from using these services is the fear of what’s behind the door at Pieta House. When we go in with a friendly face, it becomes normalized. We are removing that barrier. Consistently over the six weeks, we work on reducing these stigmas, encouraging open dialogue within the classroom. And we’re so thankful that Jo Malone have chosen to support us with this. We’re just constantly, in small ways, breaking down those stigmas, so that in 10 years time, that generation are going to feel comfortable to talk about these things. That’s really the core goal.”
The newest addition to the Jo Malone London Charity Home Candle Collection is Lily of the Valley & Ivy. “The new candle was part of a collection we did a couple of years ago and it brought to life, in scent, different historical eras,” says Emma South, Jo Malone London Fragrance and Lifestyle Expert. “This one was all about the Georgian era and it imagined mansions that were slightly crumbling, covered in ivy. This particular scent is like a secret garden with old brickwork, a perfect little oasis, shaded and sheltered. It has this most amazing dewy luminosity of the lily of the valley, brightened with the seed from pink grapefruit with this gorgeous foliage verdancy from the ivy. It’s such a summertime scent, bringing that oasis of a garden to life.”
Lily of the Valley & Ivy, together with White Lilac and Rhubarb, Peony & Moss and Iris & Lady Moore make up the Jo Malone London Charity Home Candles, €52 each, available now, with 75% of the retail price being donated to charities and projects dedicated to supporting those affected by mental health problems.
Photography by Jo Malone London.
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