April 13, 2024

Northern Monk launches beer focusing on raising awareness around mental health

Leeds-based Northern Monk brewery has partnered with Leeds Beckett University academic and artist Dr Vivien Sabel for its latest beer, Faces of Mental Health, to mark World Mental Health Day (10th October)

The can design features art by Dr Sabel, which uses emojis to highlight that how people portray themselves on the outside might not be a true reflect of how they are feeling, especially around their mental health.

Faces of Mental Health, a 4.0% session IPA, is part of Northern Monk’s Patrons Project, a series of beers collaborating with Northern creatives, artists, designers, and photographers.

As part of the Patrons Project, Northern Causes will focus on a different social or health cause with each beer release, with seven beers due to be released in the coming months.

Dr Sabel said: “Faces of Mental Health is a piece of social art to get people to think about mental health and to get them to identify with familiar images so they can begin to explore what mental health means. There are people walking around, past us, near us, with us, that are suffering with mental health problems. They may look happy, or tired, or sad, or they may not display anything on their face. This image is to capture attention and to remind you that the faces of mental health aren’t always what you think they are.

“I reached out to Northern Monk and we talked about collaborating and I think this is a brilliant way of further rising awareness of mental health. I want people to get the beer, look at the label and see the message this art is about.

“One in four us will experience mental health issues at some point and men in particular need to really start talking about it. Maybe someone will get this message and then ask their mate or their brother, or dad and ask ‘are you alright? Is everything OK?’. Or it might mean someone will open up to someone else.”

Dr Sabel only took up painting in 2020 during the first lockdown, when her work in hospitals had to be stopped due to the pandemic.

“I’d never painted before lockdown and in May 2020 I started to paint to help my own mental health, I was painting seascapes to surmise my own feelings at the time. And after that, I decided to move into creating social art and I’ve been super busy ever since.”

Russel Bisset, co-founder of Northern Monk, added: “As a society, we’re a lot better at recognizing and supporting mental health issues than in the past, but there can always be more done, especially after the last two years of the pandemic, and now the rising cost of living crisis, more people may be in the need of help.

“We were really pleased to work with Dr Viv on Faces of Mental Health and hope people take in the message it portrays and check in on their friends or talk to someone if they need support.”

Faces of Mental Health is released today (Monday 10th October) to mark World Mental Health Day and is available to buy at northernmonkshop.com.