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VIDEO: New campaign launched to encourage men to talk mental health

At any given time 1 in 4 people will experience mental health issues. Time to change Wales’ Talking is a Lifeline campaign, which is run by Hafal and Mind Cymru aims to change public attitudes by empowering people to challenge stigma and talk more openly about mental health.

According to CALM’s Masculinity Audit 2016, only 55% of men who have reported feeling very depressed said they talked to someone about it. Men currently in their mid-years are caught between the traditional silent, strong, austere masculinity of their fathers and the more progressive, open and individualistic generation of their sons. As a result, men in mid-life are increasingly likely to be living on their own, with little or no experience of coping emotionally or seeking help on their own, and few supportive relationships to fall back on.

Clout Branding was asked to create a campaign to help normalise discussion around mental health issues in Wales by encouraging men to talk more openly with family, friends, colleagues and professional organisations, without feeling stigmatised. The campaign is aimed at men aged 30+, Welsh language speakers and rural communities in Wales where stigma is more entrenched.

Through a positive approach, the Talking is a Lifeline campaign aims to raise awareness around the support available to those suffering from mental health issues and those who may have concerns or recognise signs in others. The campaign aims to be a catalyst for a positive future – where more men are talking about mental health issues and where this momentum can change attitudes and normalise mental health discussion amongst society.

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Clout focused the campaign around a positive and proactive message – led by a series of self-questioning headlines. The campaign was set in familiar rural settings and told real stories of those who have experienced positive change through talking more openly. The campaign was delivered across TV, outdoor advertising, print and social media. A series of short films were also created showing ‘mental health champions’ telling their stories.

Michael Smith, Creative Director of Clout Branding explains:

“Initial research indicated that a more gender-specific approach was required in order to tackle stigma and better engage with men. Our approach is grounded in ‘real-life’ situations to help the target audience see themselves in similar situations and to feel reassured that talking openly is OK.”

June Jones, Campaign Lead from Time to Change Wales explains:

“Only 55% of men who reported feeling depressed said they talked to someone about it, and yet 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem at any one time. You don’t have to be an expert to help a person experiencing a mental health problem. If you’re worried about a male friend or loved one, start a conversation, and ask the question, ‘are you alright?’ and be prepared to listen. It’s really important that men worried about their mental health talk to someone they love and trust, or their GP.”