Wesley Mission, a Christian charity with more than 2,000 staff, is reminding Australians that support is available to them, if they are under mental strain following the end of JobKeeper.
Trigger warning: This article discusses suicide and suicide prevention.
During large-scale crises like bushfires, the COVID-19 pandemic and now floods, community resources are stretched, but people, according to Wesley Mission, rally to respond.
But what happens after this time? People may still need help, but resources and goodwill may dwindle. We can start to feel exhausted, disillusioned and our much-needed help can be tied up in red tape or delays, Wesley Mission says.
“If people get to pause and take stock this Easter, they may find themselves depleted both mentally and physically,” Wesley Mission CEO Rev Stu Cameron said.
“And this realisation will arrive just as many assistance programs expire.”
Pointing to recent research out of the United States that shows that the three years after a disaster can see rates of suicide increase dramatically, Wesley Mission said that it recognises that this is “a critical time for us to be reminding the community that we are here and that we can help”.
Launched on Monday, 29 March, the day after JobKeeper ended, a new campaign leads with the message: ‘We are here for you’.
Wesley Mission GM Jim Wackett said: “This campaign started with the idea that unites all of us, that humans are better together.
“We do better, physically, mentally and spiritually, when we are connected in community. Connection is the antidote to social isolation and loneliness that nearly a quarter of Australians reported feeling even before the pandemic.”
The sense of weariness that people may be feeling also drove the creative approach.
“Many people report feeling overwhelmed just keeping up with the latest news and health advice,” creative lead Kirrilee Trist said. “We wanted our message to arrive like a thoughtful message from a good friend, letting people know we’re here if they need it.”
The campaign was also designed to show some of the many community services that Wesley Mission offers.
“We’re well known for supporting people experiencing homelessness, but our own research told us that people don’t know about all the ways we can help,” Cameron said.
The TV commercial features glimpses from Wesley Mission’s aged care, family services, homeless services, foster care, out of school hours care and suicide prevention community networks.
Radio ads will deliver an empathetic message to people in need of home care or disability support, clinical care for mental illness, or interest in pursuing vocational training.
‘We are here for you’ will run until Tuesday, 3 July in NSW across free to air, catchup TV, cinema, radio, print and digital, making use of community service announcements wherever available.
Localised versions of the campaign will also appear in Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Taree and the Hunter.
Credits for the campaign are as follows:
Client: Wesley Mission
General manager: Jim Wackett
Copywriter/director: Kirrilee Trist
Art director: Sally Ryan
Project manager: Angeline Nicholas
Project coordination: Andrew Simms, Olga Korobko
Brand narrative consultant: Matt Busby Andrews, Sujet
Production company: Final Post
Producer/DOP/editor: Shane Burrell
1st AD: Holly Clayton
H&MU/wardrobe: Hannah Issa, Kimberley Halliday
Photographer: Agnes Burrell
Digital: Dion Bairle
Media agency: ROI Network
Featured image source: YouTube/Wesley Mission
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