• Janelle, Your Friendly Florist

Telling Stories Through Flowers I

Mamoru means “To protect” in Japanese and it is inspired by Y's real-life story. Y was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) at the age of 27, following a breakup. His condition has since stabilised but he shared that it was a long and arduous journey. Y recounted that on many occasions, he would burst into tears uncontrollably. He could not find any motivation to get out of bed each morning and lost interest in the things he used to enjoy. Sensing that something was amiss, Y’s family brought him to see a psychiatrist. During the course of treatment, Y was emotionally unstable and had to call in sick for work frequently. As a result, he had no choice but to reveal his condition to his boss. With the help of medication and counselling, Y got better eventually and could return to work a few months later. However, he realised that his colleagues treated him differently as compared to the past and became very self-cautious. He kept to himself and this affected his work performance. Since young, Y had the habit of journaling and penning down his thoughts. However, with all that was ongoing at his workplace, Y found his thoughts to be intrusive and they were slowly eating into him. During a counselling session, Y shared what he was experiencing with his psychologist. Upon further examination, it was confirmed that Y suffered from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). OCD is a term used too casually these days. Many of us may not know what exactly it is, the symptoms as well as the causes and treatment. Y hopes to raise awareness of OCD so that sufferers will not dismiss the condition under the assumption that they are too “anal” or “weird”. It is also important for us to use the term appropriately so that it does not undermine the severity of the condition. On hearing Y’s story, I felt discouraged and indignant. All the efforts taken to create inclusive and mental health-friendly workplaces go down the drain when a few uneducated individuals decide to paint patients with mental illness in a bad light.

This spurs me to start a campaign to help raise awareness of mental illnesses and reduce stigma, fear and discrimination. As a florist, there is no better way for me to do that than with flowers.

Your Friendly Florist holding the Mamoru bouquet and eucalyptus fragrance bag

Flowers tell stories when words fall short. With Mamoru, an exclusive design dedicated to Y, I hope to promote acceptance and respect for persons with mental illness.

The bouquet features yellow roses - a symbol of friendship and compassion. Blue delphiniums represent dignity and grace. I added green foliage and selected green wrapping as finishing touches because green is the colour of mental health, signifying hope, strength, support, and encouragement for sufferers.

Mamoru is crafted with sincere wishes for Y to thrive in his career and all aspects of life. It is also intended as a reminder for all to show compassion and understanding towards the people around you who are going through a hard time. Thank you, Y for sharing your story with us! :)

"What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation."

− Geleen Close


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