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Join Casual Films in Supporting Mental Health Awareness Week

8-14 May is Mental Health Awareness Week. Here’s how to get involved.

At Casual we’re thrilled to give our support to Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW), beginning the 8th of May and running through the 14th. Thousands of people have already showed their support for this incredible event (sponsored by the Mental Health Foundation) on Thunderclap, with numbers rising every day. With a social reach of almost four million, the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) has helped spark a powerful, personal, truly necessary dialogue.

During the week’s events, the MHF will explore the big questions surrounding mental health in everyday life, including how to spot the signs of mental illness and how to find the right help for oneself or for a loved one. Most of all, MHAW is aiming to help those with mental health issues go from “Surviving to Thriving” — which is this year’s theme.

The Hands-On History of the Mental Health Foundation

The MHF relies on meticulous research and its legislative influence to promote prevention and understanding of the causes of mental illness. Since its establishment 60 years ago, the Foundation has challenged damaging assumptions and entrenched social notions, tackling under-researched issues effectively. The foundation also focuses on the principle of mindfulness, whose benefits are scientifically proven.This work helps bring the MHF closer to fulfilling their vision — “a world with good mental health for all.

The Foundation also recognises that mental health affects more than just people. Mental Health problems are the leading cause of workplace absence in the UK, and the total cost of dementia in elderly communities totals approximately £26.3 billion (roughly 34 billion USD). Mental illnesses also put a strain on families, with 10% of children and young people reporting difficulties. By focusing broadly yet methodically, the MHF is able to take a comprehensive, practical approach to targeting underserved populations for effective treatment.

“Surviving and Thriving” in 2017

According to a letter from MHF Director of Fundraising and Communications Mark Rowland, “surviving and thriving” are not “two ends of a mental health spectrum but opposite points on a circle that feed into each other, pave the way for further understanding and strengthen our resilience for struggles to come.”

Put simply: “Good mental health is more than the absence of a mental health problem.” Under the umbrella of “surviving and thriving,” the MHF will use this week to “seek to uncover why too few us are thriving with good mental health.”

In order to understand the mental health struggle, the MHF will focus on the following:

  • The difference between surviving and thriving, and how each manifests and informs
  • Why some communities are under strain and how the government can facilitate “thriving”
  • How each person can take steps to look after his or her own mental health and build resilience

The week will highlight numerous personal stories of both “thriving” and “surviving” with the hope to inspire a national conversation.

Casual Films’ Commitment To Community

Casual Films is no stranger to the importance of mental health awareness — in fact, we’ve had direct experience addressing and deconstructing mental health stigmas through our work for clients.

In this spot for The Supply Chain Sustainability School, Casual helps to bring mental health awareness to the forefront in the construction industry — a sector that has not always been sensitive to the mental health needs of its workers. The spot was meant to educate viewers on the signs of illness, and what to do if these symptoms arise. In that way, our client’s goals mirrored those of the MHF.

Casual believes in the power of innovative films to deliver important messages to all audiences. It’s this commitment to corporate responsibility that inspired the creation of The Casual Academy. Founded in 2012, the program provides 18-25-year olds — often from disadvantaged backgrounds — hands-on experience in filmmaking and professional production work as they create spots for local charitable organisations. Most recently, the students have produced amazing work to raise awareness for bowel cancer and homelessness in London and New York, respectively.

Casual is not only incredibly proud of the film-making prowess these youngsters possess, but, more importantly, of their dedication to giving back to their communities.

How You Can Get Involved with Mental Health Awareness Week

Spread the word! You can pledge your support via Thunderclap, follow Mental Health Foundation on Twitter, sign up for MHF’s Newsletter for the latest updates and use the hashtag “#MHAW17” to maximise reach. Tell your own story or help someone close to you share theirs!

You can also find live events in your area here. We hope you’ll join us in supporting the MHF and its incredible work!

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