Mental health charity Rethink has called in Frank PR as it prepares to launch a major campaign to end discrimination against mental health sufferers in England.
The new campaign will be the first national manifestation of the 'Time to Change' programme, which aims to shift public perception about mental health in England and to change public behaviour.
The anti-stigma campaign kicks off in mid-January 2009 following a pilot in Cambridge earlier this month. Frank will handle a launch stunt, which will be followed by a month-long period of intensive media activity. The agency won the account following a three-way pitch.
Key messages include raising awareness of the continued discrimination mental health sufferers face and making people understand how common the problem is - one in four people are affected by mental health problems.
A key part of the campaign is asking the public to think about how their behaviour affects sufferers.
Rethink's media manager Hilary Caprani said: 'People might say, "let's not invite him to the pub. He's not up to it." But that is actually really alienating.'
The campaign will be aimed at 'subconscious stigmatisers' in their late twenties to early forties in the C1 and C2 demographic. This 'untouched' audience will be targeted through tabloid press, commercial TV and radio programmes.
Rethink is hoping the campaign can create the same level of cut-through as similar anti-stigma campaigns in Scotland (See Me) and New Zealand (Like Minds Like Mine). These campaigns, however, were government-funded and the charity is keen to see more government funding.