Childline, (the counselling service provided by the NSPCC,) has partnered with youth culture and purpose MISSION Agency, Livity, to launch a mental health campaign aimed at reaching young men and boys who are struggling to reach out for help. Titled “We All Feel It”, the campaign uses the building blocks of content they love – from TikTok videos to gaming clips – to support the message that they can turn to Childline for help with their mental health, or anything else that is troubling them.
New research from the NSPCC-run service found that boys are five times less likely to talk with Childline’s trained counsellors about their mental health than girls, and even less likely to come to them when they have suicidal thoughts. While the conversation around male mental health has improved, we still have a long way to go; national data for England and Wales shows that in 2020 122 boys aged 10 to 19 died by suicide in comparison to 52 girls.
According to insight gathered, we know that when boys are having a difficult time, they tend to withdraw socially – with gaming platforms in particular acting as a safe space. “We All Feel It” aims to build trust in young men by showing that Childline understands them. Leveraging the healthy, self-soothing behaviours of young men, Livity’s creative approach tells a nuanced, relatable mental health story using the building blocks of content they already love – popular clips from the world of sports, social media and gaming.
By rooting Childline in their preferred spaces, and cultural references, the campaign acknowledges that young men and boys have their own way of letting off steam – but if their feelings ever feel out of control, they can talk to Childline for confidential support.
Grania Hyde-Smith, Childline Communications Manager said: “At Childline, we know how hard it can be for children to speak about their mental health. In particular, it can be really challenging for boys due to the pressures they feel around not showing emotion and appearing strong due to toxic masculinity.
We wanted to remind all children that sharing their mental health concerns with a trusted adult or a Childline counsellor is a brave thing to do and will enable them to get the help and support they need.
It’s always a great experience working with Livity and its ear-to-the-ground knowledge of youth culture. Partnering with them enabled us to adopt a nuanced creative approach for this campaign which, we hope, demonstrates that not only do we understand what young men and boys can go through, but that they do not need to suffer alone.”
Alex Goat, CEO, Livity added:
“It’s a privilege to be working with Childline again to engage young men with such an important issue. The service provides critical support for so many, and by understanding and engaging them in their world, we can help the next generation understand that Childline is there for them.”
Childline and Livity would like to thank Liverpool Football Club, DAZN and Wimbledon for providing footage free of charge.
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