OVER the next few days those who live, work or shop in Newport might come across an unusual epidemic of smiley-faced emoji stickers.

The emojis don’t appear completely happy – with a tear rolling down one side and a red strip running through the face.

They are the work of arts group RISE, and there is more to the faces than meets the eye.

The emojis resemble Newport’s coat of arms, and are a reminder to passers-by to talk about their feelings.


In the lead up to Blue Monday on January 20, statistically the saddest day of the year, people travelling to and from Newport will see a lot more of the logo stuck around the town centre.

In a statement released by artist John Frost he said that he hoped the work would encourage “acceptance and openness”.

“In our community one in four people experience mental health issues every year,” he said. “It can come in many forms, and as one of those people who experience depression regularly and have attempted to commit suicide, I can say that I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

“The best thing we can do to help is to talk to each other about it with the same frequency, acceptance and openness as we talk about Newport’s amazing weather and moan about the rush hour traffic at Brynglas tunnels.”

Mr Frost also encouraged Newportonians to help remove the stigma associated with mental health.

He added: “The aim is that when people see them, they will question, talk and learn more about mental health.

“It is also my hope that people experiencing mental health issues, see them in their environment and seek comfort that they are not suffering alone.”

If you or someone you know needs more information on getting support with your mental health, contact Newport MIND charity or see your local GP.