December Cards 2023

Monday 27 November 2023 - 12:00am - Wednesday 20 December 2023 - 5:00pm
December Cards 2023
A small act of kindness can make a big difference; spread some joy to inpatients this Christmas

Imagine spending Christmas and New Year’s on a mental health inpatient unit, while families and friends are celebrating together. It would be easy to feel isolated and lonely. Join us to let these people know that we are thinking of them.

1. Choose a card you like, and fill it with a message of hope, kindness and solidarity.  IMPORTANT: please leave the envelope unsealed. This is so we can add information about the project.

2. Place your card into the ’December Cards Project’ letter box at any of these locations by Wednesday 20 December:

  • Bendigo Library
  • Eaglehawk Library
  • Kangaroo Flat Library
  • The Good Loaf Cafe at Monash (near Bendigo Hospital)
  • Olinda Street Centre – 8 Olinda Street, Bendigo

If you would prefer to post your card, please send it to the below address by Friday 15 December:

John Bomford Centre
‘December Cards Project’
Att: Sabrina Brook
PO Box 78, Strathdale VIC 3550

Bendigo Health will deliver your card in time for Christmas.

3. Enjoy your Christmas, knowing that you have made a difference to somebody on the mental health inpatient ward. 

What to write

It can be hard to know what to write. Here are some ideas to help you:

  • What would you say to a good friend to inspire hope? You could write something like that in the card.
  • If you have ever struggled with your own mental health, what do you wish somebody would have said to you? You could write this in the card.
  • Simply let the person know that you are thinking of them and hope they feel better soon.

Below are some examples of what people have written:

“I hope that spending Christmas in hospital isn’t too hard for you, and that 2024 will be kind to you. May you have happier days ahead and find moments of peace. I will be thinking of you.”

“I don’t know who you are or what your journey in life has looked like – but I want to tell you that you are valuable, important and worthy. Please remember that things will get better, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now. Know that people care for you and wish you well.”

“We send these special wishes to you at Christmas in the hope that you may find a little strength from them during your road to recovery. You do matter and we do care. We sincerely hope the New Year brings you joy, contentment and rest.”

Do I need to include my name?

No. Some people do not include anything. Some people have written:

  • Their first name or initials only
  • ‘From a community member’
  • ‘From somebody thinking of you’
  • ‘From a friend you haven’t met yet’


Project background

The December Cards Project was originally known as ‘December letters’. It was started in the US in 2018 by sisters Jessica Lowell Mason and Melissa Bennet: The December Letters Project – Madwomen in the Attic.

It was brought to Australia in 2019 by mental health advocate Indigo Daya, and more than 900 handwritten cards were delivered to people in psychiatric units across the country that year: The Christmas cards bringing light to Australians during their darkest days - ABC News.

In 2020 Heidi Everett, a Melbourne artist and mental health arts advocate, brought it to the Austin psychiatric unit with support from the Banyule City Council: December Cards.

In 2021, we ran the project in Bendigo for the first time and received many wonderful cards! With your help we will show the people on our mental health inpatient units again how much this community cares.

If you need someone to talk to


  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
  • Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
  • Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36
  • Headspace 1800 650 890
  • QLife 1800 184 527 

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