The Forster Company has been appointed by the Department of Health to spearhead a pounds 1 million national mental health awareness campaign.
The 'Mind Out' initiative is the biggest drive to date to stamp out the stigma of, and discrimination against people who live with mental illness.
Forster Company managing director Jilly Forster will head a team of six and report to Alan Wilkinson, DoH senior information officer.
The win comes after a six-way pitch (PR Week, November 17), and the Forster Company received the final seal of approval from Health Secretary Alan Milburn last Friday.
'Our job is to put a human face on one of society's most taboo topics,' said Forster.
'Mental health stigma and discrimination is a complex arena and one society still finds difficult to deal with. There's no quick fix and a large variety of campaign strategies will be employed to enforce the multibranding needed to make a dramatic behavioural change. There will be no shock tactics,' she added.
Forster and her team had their first meeting with senior in-house advisers and PROs at the DoH this week.
The Forster Company will forge close ties with mental health lobbyists and charity organisations such as MIND and the National Schizophrenia Fellowship.
'The under-24 age group will be one major group targeted for behavioural change in the campaign,' said Forster, whose other clients include The Body Shop.