ITV’s ‘Britain Get Talking’ – the UK’s most recognised mental health campaign – returns as the broadcaster launches a powerful film, encouraging adults to have conversations with teens in their lives as a way of tackling the growing mental health crisis amongst young people.
Almost half of young people struggle with anxiety and more than 400,000 children and young people a month are being treated for mental health problems – the highest number on record. The new campaign, created by Uncommon Creative Studio explores the gap between what we say and how we feel, encouraging ITV and STV audiences to ‘break through’ to one another.
Supported by Mind and YoungMinds, and SAMH in Scotland, the campaign addresses the difficulties young people face when it comes to opening up about their challenges. In addition, adults are encouraged to “keep trying” even though it takes time to break through.
Britain Get Talking has always been about connecting, which is one of the most powerful ways we can look after our mental health. With children and young people increasingly facing challenges to their mental wellbeing, this campaign encourages and celebrates taking the time and making space for conversation.We hope this campaign can be a reminder to anyone with a teenager in their lives to keep making time to break through.Susie Braun, Director of Social Purpose, ITV
The powerful new film shows the interaction between a parent and their child after a rough day at school. It uses subtitles to reveal how they both really feel as opposed to what they say to one another, reminding the audience of how difficult it can be to open up. The film opens to a father watching TV as his young daughter arrives home from school. He offers her a cup of tea and begins to ask her questions about her day. The girl doesn’t seem like her usual self, looking down at her phone and picking at her nails, avoiding eye contact. As her father begins to ask about her troubles at school, his daughter assures him ‘she’s fine’ - though her body language and the subtitles on screen suggest otherwise.
Her father can pick up on the mixed signals so continues to try to connect with her, asking more questions, but still getting nowhere. As the two sit in an awkward silence, eventually her Dad pauses the TV, turns to his daughter and lets her know he is there for her to talk to no matter what. After trying again and again, finally he breaks through to her. We see the girl become relieved and begin to really say what’s on her mind. While young people struggling with their mental health may not want to open up until they’re ready, we see that in this case the multiple attempts her dad made, without giving up, helped her to talk about her worries.
Exploring the gap between what we say and how we feel felt an important conversation to bring to bear, especially when it comes to the young people in our lives. Since launching Britain Get Talking with ITV it has become the UK’s most recognised mental health campaign and started over 100 million conversations. We’re incredibly proud of the impact this initiative continues to have and is exactly the type of work we wanted to make when we set-up Uncommon.Nils Leonard, Co-founder at Uncommon
The ad aims to give adults the hope that they can break through to their teens and the wider campaign seeks to give them the time and the tools to help have those conversations.
Britain Get Talking is supported by Mind and YoungMinds, and by SAMH in Scotland, to encourage people to look after their mental health by connecting with others. Created with Uncommon Creative Studio, it originally launched in 2019 by pausing the live broadcast of Britain’s Got Talent, and then as lockdown beckoned, Ant and Dec invited the nation to send their messages of support for broadcast and to stay in touch with the message that we’re ‘apart, but never alone.’
There has been nothing normal about the past few years – our young people have faced disruption to their education, isolation from friends and family and uncertainty about their futures. This is reflected in record numbers of seeking help and being referred for NHS treatment for their mental health. We know that sadly, so many are still waiting for the right support. Early help, when young people first start to struggle with their mental health, can make a huge difference and there are many, simple ways to be there for a young person when they ask for support. One of those is having a conversation about how they are feeling, which is why we are backing the Britain Get Talking campaign. Things are tough for young people right now, but when the adults around them take the time to check in and ask how they’re really doing, it can be the first step to them getting the right help.Emma Thomas, Chief Executive at YoungMinds