Childline is urging boys to speak out about suicidal feelings as figures reveal they are six times less likely than girls to talk to counsellors about thoughts of ending their lives.
Our latest campaign, Things Guys Don’t Talk About, aims to highlight this shocking statistic. Since going live on the 9th of March it has already had some incredible pick up on social media, with shares by the likes of Queen of the wizarding world JK Rowling and footballing legend Wayne Rooney. Not only this, it’s also 2nd from the top of Reddit’s video page – which is pretty amazing. Some are even saying the film’s progress is reminding them of our ‘The Most Shocking Second a Day’, the most successful charity video ever made – so fingers crossed and watch this space!
Childline’s mission is to create an environment where boys of all ages feel comfortable speaking about their troubles and concerns, especially if they are experiencing suicidal thoughts. So we set out to produce a campaign designed to encourage boys to speak out more about these issues. The film utilises the popular listical theme used by sites like Buzzfeed and starts with a lighthearted, humorous tone as the main character Jake nails some of the amusing stereotypes we have of teenage boys. But as it continues, we reveal that Jake is actually struggling with his feelings. All too often this is the case, where boys seem fine on the surface but deep down they may be dealing with issues around mental health and possibly suicidal thoughts. The film ends on a positive note with Jake reaching out to Childline to talk, with the campaign message stating ‘If you’re having suicidal thoughts, it’s tough to talk. For confidential support, you can talk to us.’
The campaign was created using real accounts from boys with suicidal thoughts and feelings – these are subtly referenced throughout the film to indicate to the viewer the signs that someone might be experiencing suicidal thoughts. This realism has made the film relatable to the masses, and as a result our reddit feed for the video has exploded as young boys open up and tell their stories and others flood in to give advice and offer support. This reaction is exactly what we were hoping for, to create a more open environment for boys to share their problems instead of internalising them- so of course we are over the moon here.
Special thanks to our production partner SomeSuch and media partner, OMD UK.