Although mental health issues are extremely common, many people dealing with one feel ashamed or isolated—which is why a psychology student from London decided to create motivational "tattoos" to let people know they aren't alone.
Francesca Timbers first created these tattoos in 2011 after personally battling with depression and anxiety, HuffPost UK reports. Her mental health issues took a turn for the worse after she was diagnosed with optic neuritis—a precursor to multiple sclerosis. But after multiple hospitalizations, Francesca desperately wanted to channel her negative experience into something positive.
"What I felt in that moment; helpless, trapped, like I was in a burning building, and this was the only way out," Francesca writes in her Etsy shop description. "This is something *many* people have felt at some point in their lives, but considering so many people experience it, we hear so little about it." (Related: Instagram Launches #HereForYou Campaign to Honor Mental Health Awareness)
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It was that realization that encouraged Francesca to create something that would help get her through tough times—giving life to her now-famous temporary tattoos. The Band-Aid-shaped tats come with uplifting messages like "breathe," "believe, achieve" and "I am enough" and serve as simple reminders to get up when you're feeling down.
Along with the temporary tattoos, her Etsy shop also sells self-care reward pins with sayings like, "I didn't bottle it up," and "I asked for help." Clearly, they're a hit—Francesca has already sold overe 14,000 of her products to 60 countries worldwide.
"This is a symbol, a way to connect people, and a means of encouraging self-care. Our goal is to inspire a movement, and create a network of support...Whenever your friends and family see you wearing these, they will know that you need extra care and support that day," Francesca writes. "Because your mental health is important. Your self-care is important. And you are important. You are never alone."
"Sometimes a customer will email me a photo of their tattoo with their story, and I'll wear the same tattoo that day and send them a photo back," Francesca told Mashable. "It's like a sign of solidarity and support, even if it's with someone on the other side of the planet."