“You Are Not Alone”: Norwich City FC Campaign Goes Global

“You Are Not Alone”: Norwich City FC Campaign Goes Global

Norwich City Football Club’s “check in on those around you” campaign, launched in partnership with suicide prevention charity Samaritans last month, has since been shared globally.

The campaign, which launched earlier this month, was created in-house and posted to Norwich City FC’s social channels. It aimed to highlight the less obvious signs that someone is struggling with mental health issues. The club wanted to “make a difference” in any way it could.

The ad follows two friends who meet up weekly to watch the Canaries’ matches. One is visibly down, giving short responses and not reacting to the game when everyone around him cheers. The other is larger than life, celebrating loudly with every step of the game. The ad continues as the men go from game to game throughout the season.

As the campaign continues, the first man appears in the frame, carrying a scarf that he drapes over the chair his friend had sat in every game prior. The words “At times it can be obvious when someone is struggling to cope, but sometimes the signs are harder to spot” appear on the screen.

The ad closes with the lone scarf left alone on the seat in an empty stadium, teamed with a reminder to “check in on those around you”.

The powerful campaign has received international recognition with the video being shared widely on social media and an estimate that it has been viewed tens of millions of times, receiving accolades from both inside and outside the football industry.

Arsenal FC’s Dutch forward Vivianne Miedema shared the video with the words: “Wow. Take care of each other and yourself and talk to someone if needed”. Radio presenter Roman Kemp also joined in on the praise, saying, “This video from @NorwichCityFC is the best bit of Mental Health Awareness I’ve ever seen”.

“The response [to the video] has taken us by surprise. Every additional impression that this video gets increases the probability that someone suffering with a mental health challenge will take the steps they need to take to get them onto the right path. We are incredibly grateful to the football community, but also the wider community that have liked and shared the film,” said Norwich FC’s head of marketing Gavin Beard.

Men’s mental health has long been an underrepresented issue, but with an average of one in eight men experiencing a common mental health problem at some point in their lives, there has been a push of late to increase awareness. Norwich City FC wanted to do the topic justice, recognising that they were not experts on the topic; they partnered with Samaritans to appropriately cover the subject matter.

“We are a football club with a hugely powerful voice in the community. So, it was hugely important to partner with a charity that has far greater awareness. We spent a couple of months meticulously planning the concept itself with Samaritans and working with them to ensure that the messaging was sensitive and appropriate”.

On top of all the accolades from around the world, the campaign has also been supported by the Union of European Football Associations, which deemed it “extremely powerful”.

If you or someone you know are feeling overwhelmed, help is always available. You can phone Lifeline to speak to a Crisis Supporter on 13 11 14 (24 hours/7 days), text 0477 131 114 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or chat to Lifeline online at www.lifeline.org.au (24/7).




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