Mental health charity Mind has created its first digital ambassador role and appointed popular YouTube blogger Zoella – Zoe Sugg – as it looks to engage with a younger audience.
The announcement comes as Zoella, who has spoken openly about her own mental health and anxiety issues, launches the #DontPanicButton initiative, which aims to shift the concept of a panic button, making it a sign of positivity and a symbol of support for anyone experiencing anxiety.
Speaking to The Drum celebrities and ambassadors manager, Camilla Swain, said the idea for the digital ambassador role arose as the charity began to recognise the power of vloggers and their ability to engage with a teenage audience.
“Unless you are already supporting us it’s quite hard to reach out to younger people, so someone like Zoella is a fantastic way for us to do that.
“What is a bit different is the new role of the digital ambassador rather than a more traditional celebrity… it’s a completely new thing for us and it’s something that a lot of charities are starting to recognise – the influence that bloggers have online – and it feels really important for us to be embracing new ways of reaching new audiences. We’ve created the role especially for her.”
Swain revealed that moving forward Zoella will team with Mind for a variety of initiatives over the coming months, and that the charity will also be supporting the ##DontPanicButton campaign, which will run across the vloggers social channels.
Speaking about the possibility of bringing more digital ambassadors on board, Swain said that she is “definitely not opposed” to the idea, but stressed that any celebrity has to fit with Mind and its values.
Paul Farmer, chief executive for Mind, said: "For many, the internet and social media can be a life line. By connecting people with similar experiences and providing access to information and support, the online world has a significant role to play increasing awareness about mental health problems.”
Zoella, whose campaign will ask those who battle anxiety, as well as their loved ones, to find and wear a red button, added that she was “thrilled” to be able to raise awareness of the condition.