Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 was the most successful in the charity’s history – claiming the top three trending hashtags on Twitter, and letting millions of people know they are not alone
The Mental Health Foundation has been running Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK for over 20 years. Each year, they seek to create reach, conversation and education on different issues affecting people’s mental health – and in 2022, our brief was to create broad reach, engagement and fundraising on the theme of ‘Loneliness’. Why? Because one in three people in the UK feels lonely some or all-of-the time, rising to 38% for young people.
Despite the vast numbers of us who experience loneliness, one in five (18%) hide feelings of loneliness from other people – and one in ten (12%) would never admit to someone they felt lonely. Unless we were able to combat the stigma around loneliness, we couldn’t truly demonstrate its scale.
At the heart of our idea for the campaign was a simple observation: Loneliness is a place many of us have been, and a place we can all leave.
We reimagined loneliness as a physical place – a place filled with every kind of person, experiencing loneliness for every kind of reason. This allowed us to talk about the practical tips on how to ‘leave’ it, and the things we can do for ourselves and others, to tackle it.
We created a hashtag for the week to encourage organic social participation. #IveBeenThere was a call to share an experience from your past when you were lonely and nobody knew – and by putting the experience in the past, it acts as an empowering personal narrative of how you coped. A way of demonstrating the fact that you’re not alone in feeling lonely.
Finally, we created a messaging framework that would ensure consistent language and messages across all platforms and all partners – for maximum impact.
We worked with illustrator Emile Holmewood to create the world of loneliness, and a launch film to help people understand the issue. This one world gave us every asset we needed, from digital ads to publications and downloadable toolkits for partners to use. The styling, when compared to other charities that focused on real people in their campaigns, helped us to stand out in the noise and proved inclusive enough to connect with all audience segments.
This was the most successful Mental Health Week campaign in the Mental Health Foundation’s history. Within hours of the first day, the top three trending hashtags on Twitter were MHAW related.
The campaign reached 7.8 million people, providing 28.3m impressions. The average duration each visitor spent on site increased YOY from 13s to 1.27s.
The Partners mirrored our messaging to achieve unprecedented scale. The week saw the pledgding of millions of pounds towards mental health funding, and the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge took part in the Mental Health Minute, where their talk on loneliness was played to more than 20 million people on around 500 radio stations.