Brands partner with charities to launch mental health awareness campaign

Mental health charity Time to Change is launching its first awareness day with the backing of brands including Telefonica, BT and E.ON with the aim of building a ‘social movement’ to tackle the stigma of mental health. 

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Time to Change is launching a new campaign to encourage people to talk about mental health

The Time to Talk day, which will be held on 6 February, encourages people to take a moment in their day to discuss mental health. The campaign is backed by brands that can order leaflets and posters to spread the word, take part in organisational healthchecks to review their approach to mental health and organise events such as tea breaks with the opportunity to discuss mental health.

Speaking to Marketing Week, the charity’s head of social marketing Sarah Cohen says Time to Change is now in the “right position” to launch an awareness day after requests from its supporters for an event that they can take part in. She says so far more than 120 organisations have ordered campaign information, while almost 50,000 individuals have pledged to help spread the message.

“With more and more people speaking about mental health in public there is now an environment more open to discussing mental health.

“We wanted to give our supporters a moment in time to do something to raise awareness of mental health. This will help us build a social movement and own the public space,” she adds.

The charity is also hoping to amplify the message through partnerships with media owners. A deal with TalkSport will see the radio broadcaster run a programme about mental health on 6 February that it will promote in the run-up.

It is also teaming up with Metro to give out tea bags and information on the campaign at stations including Liverpool Street.

“These are trusted media names and brands and an opportunity to speak to people beyond ads. We want to get across the message that if brands believe this campaign is important so should you,” says Cohen.

She claims that while for many charities an awareness day is the pinnacle of a campaign this is not the case for Time to Change because it is not raising money. Instead the Time to Talk day falls halfway through its six-week long campaign and is aimed at centring conversation around an event with the hope of driving further discussion over the following weeks.

“The Time to Talk day is just a part of the campaign that helps to solidify our position. If it works we’ll hope to do more to help those with mental health problems,” she says.

Video: Time to Change’s new TV marketing campaign

The awareness day forms part of a wider Time to Talk marketing campaign that will see the charity run ads across TV, print, outdoor and digital platforms. The ads, created by production agency Across the Pond, feature people with real-life experience of mental health problems and aim to show the small things people can do to support people experiencing mental health issues, such as chatting over a cup of tea or sending a text.

Cohen said Time to Change has received additional funding this year to enable it to return to TV advertising this year. It hopes to boost awareness from the 25m it reached with its campaign last year to 37m.

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