These 'handwritten' outdoor ads take male mental health head on

Campaign by Mother for The Samaritans asked real men to share their stories

Published On
Mar 19, 2019

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Male mental health is increasingly in the spotlight  in the U.K. -- the tragic suicide of a reality star from "Love Island" this week has heightened awareness of the issue even more. 

Now a new U.K. campaign by the charity Samaritans tackles male mental health by asking real-life men to share their stories and advice. Outdoor ads by Mother London feature handwritten words of advice from real-life men who have previously contacted the Samaritans feeling depressed or suicidal. They will run at locations including train stations targeting men when they are at their most vulnerable. The wider campaign includes social ads, as well as an editorial partnership with sport radio station Talksport featuring ex-professional sports stars talking about their mental health. 

The campaign comes as Samaritans releases results of a nationwide survey, which shows two in five (41%) men in England, Scotland and Wales aged 20-59 do not seek support when they need it because they prefer to solve their problems themselves.

Paul McDonald, executive director of external affairs at Samaritans, says: “We didn’t want to create just another awareness campaign, we wanted something authentic and emotive. So we asked men to share their stories with us. Men who have been through tough times and come through the other side. They wrote some words down, and we’ve got those words on the posters to inspire and encourage other men going through difficult times to seek help, and to contact Samaritans if they’re ready to talk.”