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FCB and Te Hiringa Hauora/HPA tackle youth mental health

In response to Aotearoa having the highest youth suicide rate in the developed world, Te Hiringa Hauora (now Te Whatu Ora) and FCB set out to understand how young Kiwis facing mental health struggles could be supported by their peers.

With traditional communication campaigns around this subject often targeting the person suffering mental health issues, and not their support network, those suffering are often not inclined to take action due to the nature of deteriorating mental health.

But research suggested that, whilst young people desperately want to help their friends, they often don’t feel equipped to do so, and don’t realise that just hanging out/being there is an extremely effective way to start helping.

Targeting the most vulnerable age range of 15 – 19, workshops with rangitahi were conducted which explored this insight. The research findings were resoundingly confirmed and so ‘How To Do Nothing’ was created.

FCB co ECD’s Leisa Wall and Peter Vegas said this work was very close to their hearts.

“It’s such an important issue and this was a chance to talk to the people in need in a new way. At first glance the idea might seem counter intuitive, especially for people outside the target audience, but for us the reward has been the response from the kids this work is made for.”

Bronwyn Mildon, Senior Marketing Lead at Te Whatu Ora, says: “‘How To Do Nothing’ is a campaign developed with young people, for young people – to remind them that they can help by just being there and by doing nothing together. Who would have thought it could be so important to do nothing together?”

The campaign consists of five 60” online films, three 60” TVCs, Spotify and radio ads, Twitch partnerships, and a presence on Instagram and TikTok. And directs viewers to TheLowdown.co.nz where they can get more information and resources.

Other places to get help:

Need to talk?
Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.

Lifeline
0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE).

Youthline
0800 376 633, free text 234 or email [email protected] or online chat.

Samaritans
0800 726 666.

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