Join our mailing list for latest news and features

  • Interests:

Build Hollywood

Build Hollywood

Build Hollywood

Build Hollywood


Talk to Coco takes their affirmations nationwide for Mental Health Awareness Week

As people become more comfortable talking about mental health, Talk to Coco has been dismantling the stigma around it with their platform founded on an open heart and open mind.

Coco sees themselves as standing apart from the crowd. Being black, queer, non-binary, and neurodivergent, they have often felt a lack of representation in, or inability to relate to, leading figures in mental health, in the creative worlds, or even in broader society. After their own mental health struggles became a catalyst, Coco created a platform – Talk to Coco – that would be an online safe space. They set out to ensure that other people who identify differently don’t endure similar things on their own.

Uniting their work in creative writing and activism, and providing an uncompromising listening ear for people to share their thoughts, feelings, or experiences with, Talk to Coco is now making sure that people who reach out to them always feel understood and accepted. Coco’s honesty, openness, and deep-running empathy has enabled them to become a stalwart of the mental health awareness world. They’ve since come to run creative writing workshops, speak on panels, and collaborate with huge global organisations like Amazon and Yahoo on the issues they’re proud to platform.



With the UK’s Mental Health Awareness Week falling in May, we worked with Talk to Coco to take a series of their affirmations to our sites on city streets right across the UK, in England, Scotland, and Wales. Reading “You are loved”, “You are worthy”, and “You are enough”, the simple statements perfectly capture the level of acceptance and positivity that Coco has set out to share through Talk to Coco.

Drawing on their position as both writer and mental health activist, the project took inspiration from Coco’s lived experiences of being ‘different’, looking to reach out to anybody who’s ever felt alone. Hoping that the words would be taken in by anybody who needed to see them, the campaign is a showcase of Coco’s advocacy of self-love and acceptance, and desire to dismantle societal stereotypes.

To find out more about Coco’s hugely diverse work, their life, and the raw passion that inspired them to make it to the place they are today, we spoke to them about our collaboration.

 Can you give us a bit of background about your platform and the kind of work you do?

Talk to Coco was started due to me not seeing anybody else like myself out there in the public – no-one black, no-one gay, no-one queer, no-one non-binary, no-one that identified like me, going through so many mental health and mental illness issues and speaking so openly about them.

I guess it took for me to get to rock bottom, and for me to want to nearly take my own life, for me to realise and be there for other people, for me to be honest and authentic with myself – I guess, until I was Coco. Coco couldn’t be Coco anyway and be there to help people.

About the kind of work I do… I’m a poet, creative writer, model, and mental health activist. I curate creative writing workshops for people to explore their mental health in different creative ways. I talk on panels; I speak on topics that need speaking on. I think it’s important that we talk on, let’s say, taboo topics, that people might stay away from because it’s scary or they’re scared of the reaction that they might get from other people.

I’m big on positivity and making people feel good. I always say my therapy is helping others, and through creating Talk to Coco, it was a space for people globally, worldwide, to contact me, and have someone they can relate to, someone that’s not gonna judge them… It’s a rewarding thing existing, being me, being able to receive and have such great connections with people that I’ve sometimes never met.

What inspired you to create Talk to Coco?

A bit like I’ve already said – the want for young generations, people of difference, people who suffer with their mental health, other queer people, that identify different – not your stereotypical gender and social norms that are constructed, I think that’s what inspired me to create Talk to Coco – to bring that [safe space] alive as a human form, which is myself.

What have been some of the most exciting projects you’ve worked on to date?

Ooh, this is really interesting. So, I worked on a project with Amazon Fashion that was for Trans Visibility Day. I feel like that was really important for people of colour, for people like myself, to see a face out there speaking so openly, and on a platform like Amazon where people wouldn’t expect people like us to be there because it’s not who you normally see daily.

Another big one I like that I’ve worked on, I will say, is the one with Yahoo – that was really interesting. I’ve done work with a lot of other companies, putting your finger on one is always hard. How can you put your finger on one? Everything I do, every panel I’ve done, every mental health workshop I’ve created is like a euphoria, it’s that feeling, it’s that’s stopped still, slap in the face – but in a good way. I’m helping people.

And even what I’m doing with you guys – the amount of people I’ve had from the UK contact me when they’ve walked past and seen the billboards, and been like thank you so much, you’ve managed to help me get through my day today. I’m really glad it’s helping and reaching people who need that.

How does it feel to have Talk to Coco on the streets for Mental Health Awareness Week?

I think for a lot of people, Talk to Coco is a safety blanket, and someone that they know, if they need, will be there. It can be difficult with all the pressures – I have ADHD myself, so I’m a neurodivergent person – and I have my own other illnesses too, chronic illnesses, so I think there’s the balance of trying to do everything.

But yeah, I think it’s important for people to know that there’s people like myself out there, people they can speak to. Like, I always say Mental Health Awareness Week should be 365 days of the year. Because everyone suffers with mental health whether they admit it or not, whether it’s 5%, 10% or 50% – no matter how dramatic it is, whether it’s you personally or your best friend, your family, like, anybody, we all are globally affected. It’s super important.

For me [it] was [about pushing] awareness and [being that] face – so people can relate and look at [me] and be like, okay, thank you, I’m not by myself on this journey of craziness we call life.

What’s next for Talk to Coco?

I would love to break into the fashion industry. I think being a 5’1”, black, queer, non-binary person – I’ve got a gap in my teeth, I’ve got freckles on my face, I’ve got a big afro and tattoos. I think for myself it’d be to break into that industry, to show so many people around the world that yeah we’re different, yeah we’re neurodivergent, yeah we suffer with our mental health, yeah we look this way, yeah we identify this way – but be like, now we’ve really made it. I think [for someone like myself] just to be a face – I dunno, imagine a big campaign with Louis Vuitton or something like that. That would be really dope. But yeah, who knows right?

West Side Story tells the tale of community spirit inspired by Grenfell

Previous article


West Side Story tells the tale of community spirit inspired by Grenfell

Michella Perera

Next article


Michella Perera takes over West Graham Street