This week is Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK. We’re taking this opportunity to recognise some of the great work organisations and media companies are doing to raise awareness of mental health issues among young people, and provide support and information for those affected.
Time to Change
Time to Change is a youth-focused campaign from charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness which has been running for over a decade. At YMS18 LDN, Time To Change’s Lizz Brocklesby shared their insights on young people’s changing attitudes to mental health, including the results of their In Your Corner campaign, which empowered young people to recognise and support their peers with mental health issues.
Social media is often cited as a cause of anxiety among young people, especially more visual platforms such as Instagram, known as the home of the selfie. However, the platform is also used by mental illness sufferers to share tips and offer support and friendship. Instagram highlighted this positive side of the community with their #hereforyou campaign, using a hashtag started by users themselves.
With suicide being the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK, media targeted to a young male audience can have a valuable impact. Online publisher LadBible were praised for their UOKM8? campaign, which tackled the taboo around men talking about their feelings. They were able to use their knowledge of how to speak to this audience in a relatable and engaging way to achieve cut-through.
The Prince’s Trust
The Prince’s Trust is best known for supporting young entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds, but there’s much more to work they do. Mental health is one of the major issues they get involved in, such as their #takecontrol campaign. They got celebrity ambassadors and media including YMS partners Unilad involved in tackling the stigma around mental illness.
Scottish mental health programme See Me highlighted the workplace as a key place where mental health discrimination and challenges occur. For example, they found that 47% of people with mental health issues were afraid to tell their employer for fear of losing their job. They launched a campaign encouraging workers to ask their colleagues the simple question, “Are you okay?”
Parliament Street is a youth-focused political think tank which aims to make policy changes to make life better for young Brits. Their Director of Mental Health Danny Bowman gave a keynote on the impact of cyber-bullying on young people at YMS18 LDN. He spearheaded a publicity campaign where he shared his personal experiences with body image anxiety with Good Morning Britain, Attitude Magazine, Sky News and more.
Click here to find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week and how you and your company can get involved.