Mind, the mental health charity, and media agency MEC have launched a new campaign enlisting celebrities to encourage people to open up about what is making them anxious.
The social media driven campaign, #TakeOffTheTape has already seen TV presenters, actors, models, sports men and women from across the country confirm that they will support the campaign, with CBBC presenter Ben Shires the first to take part.
Shires says: “It’s just so important for us to talk about the things that worry us. The team at Mind do such an amazing job supporting people across the country, and the least that I could do is open up just a little to share something that makes me anxious, and I know my friends and family will also be following suit by taking up the challenge.”
The new social campaign, developed by MEC for Mind, invites people to take a piece of paper, post-it-note or tape and write on it the one thing that makes them most anxious. They are then invited to take a selfie with the message over their mouth, then post that selfie to social media with the message: “Don’t be silenced! #TakeOffTheTape Text TAPE to 70660 and donate to @MindCharity www.mind.org.uk/tape.”
The tape over people’s mouths is being used as a symbol of everything that prevents people from talking about what makes them stressed or anxious.
Mind points out that despite many strong campaigns around mental health, the subject remains highly misunderstood. People are still reluctant to be open when they’re struggling to cope because of the reaction they fear from their friends and peers.
Ruth Richards at Mind says: “At some point, there are problems that everyone is likely to face. Whether it’s worry about work, money, our image, health, a loved one, exams – stress and anxiety are emotions we all encounter. If we don’t speak out and seek support, these feelings can build and start to impact on our quality of life, our relationships and our health. By encouraging everyone to talk more honestly about things being tough, we can help people feel more comfortable about admitting that they need some support.”
One in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year, but Mind’s research shows that four out of five 18-34 year olds admitting to putting on a brave face when they are anxious. A quarter of 18-34 year olds also admitted to feeling that to show their emotions is a sign of weakness, even though one in five said they had cried in the past week because of anxiety. “With a better understanding of mental health, we hope more people will seek support early, before things become too much,” added Richards.
To find out more about the #TakeOffTheTape challenge, visit www.mind.org.uk/tape