This incredibly personal and moving advert has me biting my lip, trying to look anyway from the screen – but the narrative is inescapable, escaping mental illness is not that simple.
The campaign is brutally honest, in a way that makes me feel strangely guilty but also empathetic as just listening to the complex range of mental illnesses and the sufferer’s stories is part of the solution of Rethink. This British charity offers advice, information and support to those experiencing mental illness as part of its efforts to change public attitudes, and in the process, change lives.
As the almost humorous picture of a brain with a plaster suggests, tackling mental illness is more about listening and speaking, in other words – the mental process, than something tangible, sticky or surgical. A plaster, with its connotations of labelling and bracketing mental illness sufferers into medical stereotypes, seems staggeringly wrong – not only questioning predujudical public opinions, but making them seem stupid and pointless. This is almost a documentary feature on individuals’ brave quests to conqueror their illnesses that portrays them as heroes, rather than sufferers; and I think that I feel guilty and perplexed because I have never put so much thought into what they had gone through before. Even typing this, I am struggling – my thoughts materialising in a typing wordblock and poor grammar.
The campaign is by M&C Saatchi and was created to communicate with young people, reach out to more people, provoke debate and stop people in their tracks and get them thinking. Well it got me typing, mission achieved.