ITV has teamed up with mental health charity Mind for a new campaign ” Britain Get Talking.” The new initiative which is also supported by Young Minds aims to encourage families to pause the TV and sit and talk to each other.
The campaign was launched by Ant and Dec on the final of Britains Got Talent: The Champions.
As the show built towards its climax, hosts Ant and Dec turned to viewers to unveil the initiative, 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 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.”
Highlighting the pressing need for a focus on mental wellness, particularly for young people, Dec said:
“In the last 15 years, there has been a staggering 48 per cent rise in anxiety and depression among British children. But something as simple as talking together and listening to each other can build our mental wellness.”
“We all know that these days there are more distractions than ever because we are looking at the telly or we’re looking at our phones. But, it’s so important for our mental well-being to remember to get together with people we care about and talk.”
Following the pause, Dec joked:
“The hardest thing was keeping [BGT judge] David Walliams quiet for a moment.
Seriously though, just taking time to talk with your nearest and dearest can really make a difference, especially for young people, so please make sure tonight is just the start.”
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.
Another video shows some of the channels biggest and much-loved shows encouraging viewers to tune in to the “conversations happening in their living rooms.”
ITV’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.
Britain Get Talking supported by YoungMinds and Mind is part of ITV’s Campaign for Mental Wellness. For more information see itv.com/BritainGetTalking