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Psychology graduate creates self-care tattoos to support those battling mental illness

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A psychology graduate whose own battle with clinical depression and anxiety left her suicidal has created a series of motivational temporary tattoos to help others facing their demons.

Francesca Timbers first started producing her self-care inkings in 2015 from her parent’s living room and now sells them all over the world. 

Her pastel bandaid packs are “chock-full of positivity and love”, with each transfer carrying a message of support and compassion.

Powerful affirmations such as “believe in yourself” and “you are worth it” are designed to be displayed wherever someone wants, to help boost their self-esteem and draw them away from the risk of self-harm.


Customers can also choose their own personalised memos, which may include anything from “breathe” to “calm” and “I am enough”.

Positive affirmations – reinforced by verbal or written statements – are advocated by many therapists as a means of influencing the subconscious when someone is feeling depressed, panicked or stuck in a chain of distressing thoughts.

So Timbers’ tattoos, which last up to five days and can be easily removed, are a clever way of harnessing this approach for a calmer state of mind.


The entrepreneur also created the tattoos as a means of helping to prevent self-harm, and as a way of showing how that person feels to the outside world.

"I initially designed these tattoos for myself after dealing with my own mental health issues, following a long period of ill health,” Timbers told the Metro.

“The idea with the tattoos is that having something visually on your skin offers an alternative way of expressing your feelings and conflicts externally, rather than resorting to self-harming behaviours.

Read more: Meet the kick-ass women perfectly depicting anxiety

"Mental illness is mostly an invisible illness, so it always helps when people to have a way to make their feelings more visible.

"Whenever your friends and family see you wearing these, they will know that you need extra care and support that day. Because your mental health is important. Your self-care is important. And you are important."


Timbers also created a range of bandage pins with soothing messages, after reading about how tactile stimulation can help soothe anxiety and depression.

Her range of self-care tools, available on Etsy, are handmade and illustrated “with love and care” in London. Some proceeds go to mental health charities.

Prices start from £4.75 for a pack of 15. See more designs here.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental health problem, seek confidential help and support with Mind or the NHS.

Images: Etsy


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