Leading agency wins retained mental health account

Mental Health First Aid England has appointed Four Communications to help handle its comms - including an annual Mental Health Awareness Week campaign, which launched today - for the next two years.

Pic credit: Science Photo Library/Getty Images
Pic credit: Science Photo Library/Getty Images

The agency won the account after a competitive pitch against three other agencies. It is the first time MHFA England has appointed a retained agency; previously, Munro & Forster Communications worked for the organisation on a project basis.

Four Communications' task is to deliver fully integrated communications support to help MHFA England in its mission to improve the mental health of the nation.

It is working alongside MHFA England’s comms team to deliver a full service comms programme including brand strategy and positioning, public affairs and media relations.

Client and agency perspectives

Eleanor Miller, director of marketing and comms at MHFA England, said: "We have chosen to appoint an agency we believe shares our passion to make mental health part of the everyday conversation."

She added: "Four's integrated team will ensure that we maintain our brand position as the leading provider of workplace mental-health training and support us in continuing to achieve a significant share of voice across channels."

Nan Williams, chief executive of Four Communications, commented: "With recent stats showing approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental-health issue each year, it is a challenging but critical brief."

She added: "We are looking forward to working with MHFA England to deliver a fully integrated communications programme that can deliver a real change, with a cross-company team pulling from the best brains in PR, public affairs and brand design."

Immediate challenges

MHFA England is a community interest company that trains people as Mental Health First Aiders. One of the first priorities for Four Communications has been to develop a series of campaigning materials in time for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which starts today.

Messaging stressing the importance of investing 30 minutes in your own mental health, from taking exercise to socialising with colleagues at work or taking time out to meditate, is being promoted using #EmpowerHalfHour.

The agency is also promoting a workplace manifesto, launched today by the Where’s Your Head At? campaign, which is a partnership between MHFA England, Bauer Media UK, and mental-health campaigner Natasha Devon MBE.

The manifesto calls on employers, business-leaders and MPs to sign up to its aims, which are based on making a commitment to positively tackle mental health in the workplace.

To support the launch of the manifesto, Four Communications developed a news story about workplace mental health, which was released today and revealed that employees are three times more likely to feel comfortable discussing their physical health than their state of mind.

This has resulted in widespread media coverage, being picked up by more than 100 media outlets including the print edition of The Times, TV programme Sky Sunrise, the Mail Online, and print and online editions of City AM.

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