HAWAIIAN shirts will be the dress code for many in Dorset’s digital and creative community on Monday, thanks to a young apprentice’s efforts to raise awareness of mental health.

Maddie Crawford, 19, who has faced mental health difficulties herself, devised Get Your Shirt Together as an event for January 21 – often dubbed “Blue Monday”.

The idea is that participants will put on a loud shirt and consider a donation to Dorset Mind.

“I know the Hawaiian theme seems very random in relation to Dorset Mind or mental health but I went with this theme for one really simple reason. I wanted to make people smile,” she said.

“Nobody will be able to resist smiling when they see their colleagues wearing hideous Hawaiian attire.

“While I want to raise money for Dorset Mind, and I want to raise awareness, reduce the stigma and all of these other benefits that have surfaced from the progression of Get Your Shirt Together, I really wanted to make people smile.”

Around 30 digital agencies have said they will take part, including her own employer Adido, Media Lounge and Createful, as well as the Stable restaurant in Bournemouth.

Maddie, a digital apprentice at Adido in Bournemouth, came up with the idea while physically unwell last summer.

She has had mental health difficulties since around the age of 13 and was recently diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

She said a big inspiration for her campaign was her dad Alec.

“My dad has struggled with depression for a long time and I only found out when I was at least 16 which means he was suffering in silence for so long,” she said.

“Honestly, I don’t think I would have been able to manage my mental health if it wasn’t for my dad. Having him with me every step of the way made it that bit easier to get myself out of bed every day, like I wasn’t alone in the battle.

“The fact that he didn’t have someone this close to him that understood just shows how strong he is, and that was more inspiration than my own story. Now when either of us has a bad day we both know how to deal with one another and how to talk to each other.

“So if nothing else comes from Get Your Shirt Together, I hope my dad knows I’ll always be fighting for his side.”

Those taking part are encouraged to share on social media with the hashtags #GYST or #GetYourShirtTogether.

To find out more, email enquire.gyst@gmail.com