Sandy believes All Right? has helped lift the stigma often associated with mental health.
“The earthquakes, repairs, and challenges navigating the city, make this a really trying time. All Right? has helped people understand that it’s OK to feel the way you do, and has helped to make talking about mental health a normal, everyday thing,” says Sandy.
Working as a literacy and numeracy tutor for the YMCA, and as a part time clown doctor, Sandy is well aware her mood has a big impact on those around her.
“All Right?'s messages have supported me during a really difficult time, and have given me more energy and enthusiasm. If it’s beneficial to me then it’s beneficial to everyone I am in contact with.”
Sandy can often be seen cycling around the streets of Christchurch wearing a crocheted roadcone helmet. She says the helmet was inspired by All Right?, a partnership led by the Mental Health Foundation and Canterbury DHB.
“The idea for the roadcone helmet came to me after reading a postcard that said, ‘It’s all right to feel pretty stoked’. On the back it talked about using your energy to motivate others, and that really gelled with me.
"I had some energy and enthusiasm, so I wanted to bring a bit of humour to people driving through those awful traffic jams. When I wear my helmet I find myself thinking ‘why is everyone so smiley!"
All Right? has an online poster generator where groups can create their own posters with ideas of what makes their members feel all right. Sandy says it’s been a great door opening exercise for her students, because their ideas help reinforce that we all enjoy similar things – such as catching up with mates, listening to music, and getting active outdoors.
All Right?’s compliment poster with tear off slips has proven a great tool to Sandy in her role as a clown doctor.
“The compliment slips have been really great – they are fun and playful and everyone who gets one loves them. When I first saw them I cut the compliments off and let parents and children select them and act them out. We had so much fun acting out things like, frolicking in fields and being pirates and ninja combined!” Sandy says.