'No mask for mental health': charity calls for emotional support of front-line workers

Ad created pro bono by Havas UK agencies.

Laura Hyde Foundation: campaign discusses mental health of front-line workers
Laura Hyde Foundation: campaign discusses mental health of front-line workers

The Laura Hyde Foundation has launched a campaign raising awareness of the looming mental-health crisis on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic.

Created pro bono by Havas UK agencies, the ad shows healthcare professionals wearing masks as they talk about their feelings and struggles while confronting the outbreak. It ends with the line: "There's no mask for mental health." 

The work reminds viewers of the emotional toll that the crisis is having on medical professionals and aims to destigmatise mental-health issues. The charity's message is that, once lockdown lifts, life won't go back to normal for many healthcare workers, who might need support as they face mental-health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

The nationwide campaign includes film, digital and out-of-home activity. A "virtual mask" has also been created for social media that places an inverted "rainbow smile" over the user’s face in solidarity with front-line workers.

It was directed Kevin Thomas through Thomas Thomas. Havas London handled creative, while Cake and Ekino developed social and digital elements. Havas Media is the media agency.

The Laura Hyde Foundation, a mental-health charity for first-responders, has seen an 88% rise in front-line workers requesting help as a result of the pandemic. The organisation is calling on the government to ensure every NHS trust in the country can deliver mental-health care to workers. 

Jennifer Hawkins, clinical lead at The Laura Hyde Foundation, said: "Healthcare staff everywhere have been really touched by all the love they’ve been getting from the public, but the label ‘hero’ can, at times, put them under even greater pressure.

"The harsh reality of their work is having a significant impact on mental health – and we must make it OK for medical professionals not to suffer in silence; to prescribe for themselves what they would prescribe for others and ask for help."

No mask for mental health: campaign includes virtual mask filter

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