Devon County Council

Encouraging men to speak out about mental health

The Brief

The South West has the highest rate of suicide in England, and it’s estimated that at any given time, one in six British adults is suffering from at least one diagnosable mental health problem.

Devon County Council aims to reduce suicides in Devon by 10%, by 2021. To help achieve this, we were asked us to increase the level of mental health awareness in the county and raise the awareness of support networks within communities.

Our Solution

We developed a campaign that encouraged men aged between 18-55 to talk to friends, family and ultimately the NHS, about mental health issues. Our approach was to tackle the stigma associated with mental health and raise awareness of the help available by referring people to online and support networks.

The #RealMenTalk campaign addressed the issue that men are notoriously reluctant to share their feelings. It used original photography that showed actual sufferers within the target age range from various backgrounds engaged in conversation and encompassed multiple media channels (press, pub/bar advertising, digital and social media) to ensure county-wide reach.

As well as getting people to talk, we wanted to let them there is someone ready to listen. In the three months our campaign run, the Devon Depression and Anxiety Service received a 111% increase in referrals.

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