Positive mental health image library

Help us change how people see mental health, and win up to £600!

Our research has shown that people often feel like that they can’t relate to the images that the media use when they talk about the things that can help our mental health. With your help, we want to change that.

We’re creating a freely-available library of images that represent real people looking after their mental health, and we’re welcoming submissions from professional and amateur photographers.

Submit your images before 11.59pm on Sunday 10 December to be entered into our prize draw and competition. 

  • One submission drawn at random will win a prize of a £500 high street voucher. 
  • A winner for each category, as chosen by our panel and members of Our Personal Experience Network, will win a prize of a £100 high street voucher.
  • An overall winner, chosen from the category winners, will receive an additional prize of a £500 high street voucher.

Submit your images

An older man holding a camera on a city street

What the research showed

We asked people how they felt about images used for positive news stories about mental health. These are the things they told us mattered to them:

Thumbnail of positive mental health images

What people liked:

  • Diversity: of age, gender, body shape, ethnicity and physical ability.
  • A range of activities: not just vigorous exercise, yoga or meditation.
  • Human connection: people connecting with those around them is important, but it’s also OK to show people being happy on their own.
  • Realistic: everyday clothing, genuine positive expressions, lived-in backgrounds.
  • Nature: including elements of our natural environment but ensuring that it feels accessible.
Thumbnail images of someone doing yoga at sunset, sitting with their head in their hands and reading outdoors

What people disliked:

  • Obviously posed images: people looking immaculately groomed, unnatural poses, fake or overly positive facial expressions.
  • Financially unrelatable: the latest technology, swanky gyms or show-home style backgrounds.
  • Stereotypes: not everyone practices mindfulness in a forest at sunrise.
  • Inaccessible activities: showing things which are only accessible to a few and would exclude people from certain backgrounds.

Overall, remember that good mental health is not about achieving perfection – positive well-being can be achieved in different ways, in different places, by different people.

Submit your images

Help us improve the type of imagery that is used by submitting images for inclusion in our mental health image library. The images will be freely available for anyone to use in the media, in print or online. Images submitted should be:

  • Your own images
  • High quality, high resolution images
  • Show the people doing some of the things which can help them to look after their mental health, in line with the recommendations from our research above. 

Check out the full terms and conditions.

Although we welcome submissions showing a wide range of experiences of mental well-being, for the first set of images, we’re especially looking for images for these categories:

  • Physical exercise and movement
  • Nature
  • Connection
  • The workplace
  • Creativity

At the moment, we are just accepting photographic submissions.

Check out our best mental health tips guide for more inspiration. 

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