Build positive self-image

Provide positive, inclusive images rather than stereotypes of poor mental health. Research shows that negative images of mental illness results in the development of more negative and inaccurate beliefs about mental illness (Mindframe).

Further description

Challenge assumptions and reinforce positive messages

Consider how images can be used to challenge negative stereotypes. This could be through celebrating the creativity of people experiencing mental ill health and avoiding images of people looking dishevelled or different.

Avoid images that may be triggers

Be aware that images relating to suicide may be triggers that increase risk. Follow guidelines for responsible reporting in the area of suicide prevention and mental ill-health

Get the right image for the right context

Remember that young people are diverse and have varied experiences. Avoid generic stock images and think about the specific audience for your message. Represent the diversity of your audience in your images.

Be informed by experiences

Talk to young people about their experiences and make sure the images you use and stories you tell represent these.


Share your patterns

We’re constantly on the look out for new patterns. If you have a service/product which you think could be used as a new pattern, we’d love to hear about it.