Mental Health Awareness – why brands should campaign for social issues
19 October 2018

Mental Health Awareness: why brands should campaign for social issues

World Mental Health Day took place last week on 10th October. An annual occasion designed to get everyone talking about, and listening to, each other’s experiences, and ultimately understand each other’s state of mental health. While the global campaign covers a day, the goal is to carry on the conversation around mental health every day. The facts are hard to ignore:

• Mental health problems are one of the main causes of the overall disease burden worldwide (The Lancet)

• In the past year, 74% of Brits felt overwhelmed or unable to cope due to stress (Mental Health Foundation)

• A third of 15 to 18-year-olds suffer from mental health and emotional wellbeing issues (Action for Children)

• In the UK, one in five women report to have a common mental illness (NHS Digital)

• In the UK, men remain three times as likely to take their own lives than women (Samaritans)

• Every year one adult in four, along with one child in ten, will have a mental health issue (World Federation of Mental Health)

The stigma associated with mental health issues still needs to disappear and brands are increasingly tackling the issue with campaigns. Here are a couple of our favourites and the impact they have had:

Ford/Time to Change – “Don’t let mental health be the elephant in the room”

Ford wanted to encourage people to end their silence on mental health. They did something very simple. They took a well-known phrase and moulded it into the slogan for their campaign.

Ford asked 2,000 people about the issue. 53 per cent said they like to have conversations in their car or vehicle. A further 56 per cent said they had important emotional conversations in a car.

So, with suicide being the biggest killer of men aged under 45 and research showing only 34 per cent of men say they would talk openly about their feelings, Ford released a video in a nationwide television campaign and on YouTube to help people open up in the car.

The video has been viewed 19,000 times on YouTube with resoundingly positive comments, as well as coverage in Sunday Times Driving and The Evening Standard.

LADbible Group/CALM – UOKM8?

LADbible Group’s “UOKM8?” is an award winning, three-month social campaign. It’s a great example of how partnerships can raise awareness of men’s mental health issues.

The campaign aimed to develop a broad understanding of mental health and suicide risk in the UK, with information gathered from LADBible’s own followers. It also aimed to drive discussion on mental health themed editorial content, with everything compiled in the LADBible hub for later reading.

“UOKM8” resulted in reaching 36m people with 832k engagements, 4.8m video views. It has also won awards for Best Use of Social Media amongst many others from The Drum.

It is clear to see from these two examples that campaigns with an aim to address social issues such as mental health awareness are having a strong positive impact on the public. Millions of people either suffer or know someone who suffers from these issues, so they are more likely to relate to the key messages behind these campaigns and engage with the content.