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By Ishbel Macleod | PR and social media consultant

January 21, 2014 | 3 min read

Time to Change – England’s biggest mental health anti-stigma programme, run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness – has unveiled a new advert ahead of the first national Time to Talk Day on 6 February.

The new 30 second advert was created by production agency Across the Pond and is part of a major above the line Time to Talk campaign which will also include digital, radio, outdoor and press partnerships in the run up to Time to Talk Day.

Robert Waddilove, head of strategy at Across the Pond, said: “The campaign explores straightforward ways to have a conversation about mental health. It’s about little things you can do to support someone experiencing a mental health issue and demonstrate what a difference those simple, normal acts of friendship can make. By showing a series of vignettes with real people doing those simple things, we understand how very meaningful these acts of friendship can be. Keep doing what you’re doing is the message. It’s more about what not to stop doing - by having that cuppa, offering that invite, making that call, going on that walk and sending that text.”

The creative presents a series of situations where a friend, relative or colleague reaches out to someone in a small but significant way, by sending a text, chatting over a cuppa, giving them a call, or inviting them out.

A series of longer films will be available on the Time to Change website featuring stars of the advert talking about different experiences of mental iIlness such as bipolar disorder, schizo-affective disorder and depression.

“Those of us with direct experience of mental health problems are at the heart of Time to Change and sharing real life experience is one of the most effective ways of breaking down stigma and discrimination,” said Time to Change director Sue Baker said. “We have seen improvements in public attitudes and behaviour since Time to Change began and the public are now more ready and willing to talk about mental health problems than ever before. This campaign is the next step, in showing people that supporting a friend or family member with a mental health problem needn’t be difficult and giving them the tools to do so.”

The advert will be screened on mainstream channels: ITV, Channel 4, Five and Sky, as well as Community channels.

The longer term advertising strategy was devised by MediaCom.

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