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“We are really pleased to be supporting ITV’s campaign and to have the opportunity to help reach millions of people with messages about looking after your wellbeing. We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health, and we can learn to look after it. At a time when only a third of people with a mental health problem get access to any kind of help and support, it’s important to do whatever we can to help people take steps to stay well and try and prevent mental health problems developing in the first place. Encouraging families to focus on the wellbeing of the next generation is a fantastic place to start.” Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, mental health charity

BGT took on a whole new meaning on Saturday night (5th October) as ITV sprung a surprise by pausing Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions during its finale to launch its new mental wellness campaign, Britain Get Talking.

As the show built towards its climax, hosts Ant and Dec turned to viewers to unveil the initiative, which is supported by mental health charities Mind and YoungMinds (and SAMH in Scotland).

Britain Get Talking is the first stage of a five year commitment from ITV to promote mental wellness with the goal of getting 10 million people to take action to improve their mental or physical health by 2023.

Suddenly calling a halt to proceedings, Ant and Dec addressed the audience, inviting viewers at home to turn their attention away from the acts competing for the BGT crown to focus instead on one another and let mental wellness take centre stage.  

Their message, at the core of the Britain Get Talking campaign, was the importance of taking steps to help maintain mental wellness, with making time away from distractions for regular conversation with friends and family recommended as a simple but effective measure.  Judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams then fell silent along with the audience as Ant and Dec brought Britain’s Got Talent to a silent stop for one minute while cameras broadcast shots of backstage crew holding up cards bearing slogans that read: “Use our silence to talk to each other.” 

Continuing the theme, the commercial break that followed featured the launch of ITV’s new advertising campaign, followed by a special silent advertisement featuring a series of brands - Oral-B, Gillette,  SEAT, Dunelm, Network Rail - which also promoted the Britain Get Talking message, encouraging viewers at home to turn their focus to each other.

TV’s Campaign for Mental Wellness has drawn inspiration from the Five Ways to Wellbeing  devised by the New Economics Foundation with an emphasis on promoting behaviour change through small, regular actions that positively support mental health.   

Under the theme “Connect”, one of the Five Ways to Wellbeing, the initiative’s first year will set out to improve resilience in young people by encouraging positive conversations and strong, supportive relationships, an effective way of building mental health.

A YouGov survey of parents, commissioned by ITV found that although over half of parents of teens are worried about their mental health, two in five parents of teens don’t have a meaningful chat - talking and really listening to the answers - with their children every day. One in three parents of teenagers doesn’t get one on one time with their child each day. Britain Get Talking aims to make the space to prompt more of those conversations. 

As part of ITV’s commitment to promoting this message, an on air campaign has now begun, which, over the next month, will see ads featuring familiar ITV faces using their silence to encourage viewers to catch up with one another at home and tune back in to their family’s story. 

The stars lending their support to the campaign are drawn from across ITV’s shows, from Soaps and Daytime to Entertainment, Factual, Sport and News. They include: Dermot O’Leary, Coronation Street’s Alexandra Mardell, Rugby World Cup pundit and former England international Maggie Alphonsi MBE, Gordon Ramsay, Gino D’Acampo and Fred Sirieix, Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, Jonathan Ross, Julie Etchingham, Tom Bradby, Robert Peston, Mark Pougatch, Iain Stirling, Alex Beresford, Emmerdale’s Mark Charnock and Emma Atkins, Charlene White, Lucy Verasamy and Loose Women’s Nadia Sawalha, Saira Khan and Kaye Adams, Alison King, Myleene Klass and Amanda Holden.

In support of the campaign, a Britain Get Talking website is now live online - www. itv.com/BritainGetTalking and www.stv.tv/BritainGetTalking. Viewers will be signposted there for further information on the campaign and useful resources.

ITV worked with creative agency Uncommon Creative Studio to develop the campaign.  

“ITV brings people together for unmissable shared viewing moments. By disrupting one of our biggest shows this Saturday night, we want to reach a wide family audience and create the space to start a national conversation about mental wellness. At the heart of ITV’s social purpose strategy is this new five year commitment to help make mental wellness a priority in all our lives. We've worked with our long-term strategic partner, Mind, as well as Young Minds to develop Britain Get Talking. The campaign highlights the importance of talking and listening in building mental wellness, ensuring we make looking after our mental health as much of a part of our daily lives and culture as our physical health." Carolyn McCall, ITV Chief Executive

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