The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic forced all South Africans to come face to face with mental health, by either experiencing it themselves for the first time or seeing a loved one go through it.
The City of Cape Town, together with HelloFCB+ and Fuelcontent, launched the “How Are You?” campaign to help raise awareness for mental health, the importance of mental well-being and to help residents recognise a mental health issue when it does happen. But, most importantly, it asked residents to look out for each other in whatever way they can – even just by simply calling and asking: How are you?
Priya Reddy, director of communication at the City of Cape Town, said: “As a city that cares, we saw how the pandemic and the extended lockdown was impacting residents’ mental health. The ‘How Are You?’ campaign was created to show all residents of Cape Town that they’re not alone, help is a phone call away. The campaign was also launched internally to City of Cape Town staff, the people who have worked tirelessly through it all to keep the services running.”
The campaign, launched online, asked residents “How Are You?” and shared the stories and lessons of several Capetonians as they dealt with their mental health to help and show others who had experienced a mental health issue during the national state of disaster that they are not alone. Each story was brought to life with animation and messaging that reminded them to check in on the people in their lives and reach out if they needed help.
Dylan Rohleder, creative group head at HelloFCB+, said: “I had been made aware of the importance of mental health for the first time during lockdown. We wanted to show residents that they are not alone in this, mental health is nothing to be ashamed about and something as simple as picking up the phone and asking someone how they are can make a world of difference to someone who really needs it.”
The campaign drove users to the City’s website, where they could find information on mental health, get mental well-being tips to help them manage and understand their mental health and provided numbers and services that they could reach out to for help.
Mike Barnwell, chief creative officer for HelloFCB+, concluded: “The stigma surrounding the topic of mental health only exacerbates the problem further. We’re hopeful that this campaign, and these three words, will open up some much-needed dialogue and encourage people to take the first step towards seeking the help they need.”
You’re not alone, if you or someone you know needs help with mental health, contact a health practitioner or one of the following helplines:
Cipla Sadag Mental Health Line: 0800 4567 789 or WhatsApp 076 88 22 775 For a suicidal emergency: 0800 567 567 Destiny Helpline for Youth and Students: 0800 41 42 43 ADHD Helpline: 0800 55 44 33 Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Line 24-hour Helpline: 0800 12 13 14 or SMS 32312
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