Artists reinvent the Father's Day card for better mental health outcomes

Most Father's Day cards are insulting and reinforce negative stereotypes. A new campaign by The Or and CALM will help reset the balance.

Father's Day is approaching! On Sunday 16 June, dads across the UK will receive cards based on tired stereotypes and lazy jokes about how awful and useless they are as human beings. But now, a new initiative is trying to change things by reimagining Father's Day cards with more positive and loving messages.

The Father's Day Redesign is a collaboration between independent creative company The Or and the suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). Over 30 artists have contributed redesigned Father's Day cards, which ditch the clichés about beer and insults about ageing in favour of celebrating fatherhood.

As you can see from the 'Before and After' images shared here, each artist has transformed a negative sentiment or stereotyped image into something more positive.

Charlene Chandrasekaran, executive creative director at The Or, highlights the different ways we typically treat our mothers and fathers. "Mother's Day card designs are always thoughtful and heartfelt," she points out. "'Happy Father's Day, you old twat' or a picture of a pint of beer doesn't quite have that same level of warmth. The Father's Day Redesign is here to shine a light on how we communicate with our father figures, reframing the narrative with positivity and openness."

The one-of-a-kind redesigned cards from artists including Marylou Faure, Hattie Stewart, Murugiah and Oli Fowler is currently being auctioned online, with proceeds benefiting CALM. Bidding starts at £25 per card.

A good cause

Campaign Against Living Miserably, or CALM, is a suicide prevention charity. Every week, 125 people in the UK take their own lives, and CALM exists to change this by provoking conversation, running lifesaving services and bringing people together through events and campaigns.

Men's mental health has come increasingly into the spotlight over recent years, as suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 50, and men make up 75% of all suicide deaths. Many experts believe this is because, traditionally, men have been expected to be stoic and avoid expressing emotions.

This "strong and silent" stereotype discourages men from seeking help, worsening their mental health. Yet there's a growing movement to challenge this stigma and encourage men to talk about their feelings openly.

"I'm a dad to two fantastic kids, and I tell them I love them every single day - and they say it right back," says Simon Gunning, CEO of Campaign Against Living Miserably. "We have come such a long way in breaking down stereotypes around masculinity and what it means to be a man and a father, but there's still so much work to be done.

"This brilliant partnership speaks volumes to that need, showing that dads deserve to be shown love, support, and care on Father's Day as much as mums do on Mother's Day, and it will hopefully help us to raise vital funds to continue the lifesaving work that we're doing."

Open discussion

With artists using the cards to share gratitude for their own father figures, the redesigns aim to encourage more open emotional expression between fathers and children. Father's Day seems like a great time to reset old attitudes, and we wish them the best of success.

The full list of artists involved includes Absolute Felter, Adam Bridgland, Alex Egan, Andy Goodman, Benjamin Thomas Taylor, Bob & Eve, Ceal Warnants, Damien Weighill, Dorny Sunday, Ellie Hopley (Shuturp), Eynon Jones, Harry Zeederberg, Hattie Stewart, HRC Illustrates, Jack Mears, Jason Ford, Jim Brook, Jennifer Hayashi, Katy Welsh, Maggie Williams, Marylou Faure, Matt Munday, Maya Mitten, Marla Morris, Murugiah, Oli Fowler, Oli Frape, Paul Davis, Ryan Hawaii, RUDE, Tina Crawford, Tony Green and Zoey Kim.

You can bid in the audition, which ends 5 June, here.


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