What is the CCS Clothesline Project?

In the summer of 2021, teens from many different international schools in Shanghai came together with one purpose: to learn more about mental health issues and learn how they can become advocates for mental health in their schools and communities. This group of teens became the first CCS Mental Health Teen Advocates. During the course of these sessions, the Advocates were introduced to the Clothesline Project by CCS Counseling Volunteer, Tonye Stuurman.

The premise is simple but the impact is huge: paint a message on a t-shirt that will be visible and get people thinking about how important their mental health is. The overall goal is to break the stigma surrounding mental health with a powerful visual that anyone can relate to.

The Advocates’ vision for this project knows no bounds. Their goal is to collect at minimum 500 shirts and have this project be a display that travels to any international school or organization that wants to showcase it. Already, this idea has gained the attention of the wider community and groups in Beijing, Guandong, Guanzhou, and Shenzhen have taken up the call and expanded the CCS Clothesline Project to their communities.

Discover the Impact:

Here are a few videos showing the CCS Mental Health Teen Advocates in action:

CCS Teen Mental Health Advocate Painting Session
CCS Teen Mental Health Advocates Summer Sessions Overview
CCS Clothesline Project Kickoff Event

Student Testimonials:

‘The idea is amazing and everyone should be participating. It’s a good way to upcycle clothes with an impact.’ — Clodagh

‘It makes people feel better about themselves and realise they’re not alone.’ — Delphie

‘I feel motivated by painting the shirts.’ — Serena

‘I think it’s empowering but also therapeutic as a way of stress release.’ — Kelly

‘It’s nice to know our school is aware.’ — Mabel

‘I think it’s an amazing idea and it’s been really inspirational to myself and others to see such positive messages displayed and also it’s incredible to see the student leadership.’ — Christiana

‘It makes me feel less alone.’ — Judy

Adult Testimonials:

‘I think the clothesline project is really important because it combines things that young people love, they enjoy art and self expression and comfortable clothes. And to be able to destigmatize speaking up for yourself and taking care of yourself and being compassionate and kind to yourself in this particular way is profound, important and necessary.’ — Pete

‘It’s a fantastic way to give mental health more exposure in our community.’ — Ms Smith

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