A TEEN has handed out over 500 'boxes of positivity' in efforts to help people struggling with their mental health.

Jack Cole was home for the weekend during his third stay at a mental health hospital when he put together 'Jack's Treasures' boxes for friends there.

The boxes included sensory items, a worry stone and 'engouragmints' – Polos with inspirational quotes written on them –, and were paid for with his saved birthday and Christmas money.

After seeing their positive impact, the 16-year-old kept putting the boxes together.

Mum Julie Cole said: "He wanted people to know they aren't alone. He struggled alone and bottled everything up before it all came out, so wants to make sure others know there is support."

The Northern Echo:

Helped by siblings Abigail, 17, and Benjamin, six, the teen has sent 517 boxes around the country, from Brighton to Dublin, with more ready to go.

Mrs Cole added: "Jack always puts other people before himself. We really want to carry it on because not only is it showing children they are not alone, but parents too. The problem now is money. We're hoping a local business might sponsor it."

Organisations and school in Darlington have also benefitted from the boxes, including Longfield Academy where Jack went to school before moving on to Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College.

Head teacher Nicholas Lindsay said: “We are very proud of Jack as a shining example of a wonderful Longfield pupil we are delighted to support him by engaging in his positive boxes scheme; I am confident that the contents will be put to good use.

The Northern Echo:

"As a school we continue to support and promote positive mental health and well being on a day to day basis with all of our staff & students and we are also extremely active in this vital area on a town-wide level working collaboratively with our colleagues in the public service.”

Anyone who would like a box or to support the project can email Mrs Cole at jmum2mum@gmail.com.