'Seize the Awkward' campaign encourages students to check up on their friends' mental health via Guild Wars 2

Suicide prevention effort from the Ad Council campaign partners with the multiplayer game

Published On
Sep 11, 2020

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September is Suicide Prevention Month, and the Ad Council's 'Seize the Awkward' campaign for suicide prevention is back with a new effort targeting young people suffering mental health effects of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The campaign has teamed with NCSOFT's multiplayer role playing game Guild Wars 2 for a campaign that asks people to reach out to their fellow players. A TV spot, seen here, as well as digital banners and out-of-home advertising are all highlighting the many ways teens and young adults can reach out and check in on each other’s mental health. The campaign asks young people to "check in with your Guildmates" and "go beyond emotes."

Players can also claim a free "Seize the Awkward" logo t-shirt for their in-game character and a special "potion" that will help them start a mental health conversation, via the game’s Gem Store.

The campaign, created in collaboration with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the JED Foundation, was made based on research with Chegg.org revealing that nearly half of college and high school students feel anxious about returning to school, and a third report experiencing depression since the coronavirus pandemic began.

“For many facing a back-to-school season marked by uncertainty and increased isolation, it’s more important than ever that young people check in on each other’s mental health,” says Heidi Arthur, Chief Campaign Development Officer at the Ad Council, in a statement. “Through this extraordinary group of digital and social partners and platforms, we are able to give young adults the encouragement and resources to start potentially life-saving conversations with ease.”