The Time to Change Blue Light project

Sharing your story in the media

We’re looking for people who work in the blue light services to share their stories about mental health as part of a national advertising campaign in February 2015 and in an ongoing marketing campaign through 2015.

Activity will include commercial radio advertising, promotional films and coverage in a national newspaper and blue light trade magazines as well as workplace posters, emails and social media activity

The Time to Change campaign

Time to Change is England’s biggest mental health anti-stigma programme, run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. The campaign aims to get everyone talking about mental health and shows how the little things can make a big difference to someone who might be experiencing a mental health problem – things like a phone call, text message or cuppa.

As part of the campaign we will be running national advertising that features real people and their supporters to show that talking about mental health – and being there for people who experience mental health problems – is easier than you might think.

Mind Blue Light services campaign

Mind is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. We won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets the support they need and the respect they deserve. We provide information and support, and we campaign to raise awareness and improve services.

Following the Time to Change awareness campaign, Mind will be rolling out a support services to blue light staff. To promote these, we will develop promotional materials for use across police, ambulance, fire, coastguard and search and rescue services. We always use real people in our marketing materials and want to use the same volunteers as those in the Time to Change campaign to make a clear link between the two. We’re looking for people who are able to share their story of how reaching out for support made a difference for them – to encourage others to do the same.

Criteria and role

We are looking for five people who meet the following criteria:

  • Work in Blue Light services including police, fire, ambulance and search and rescue.
  • Direct experience of a mental health problem.
  • Willing to talk about how they spoke out about their mental health problems and their experience of doing so.
  • Happy to share their story in a high profile national marketing campaign.
  • Have a supporter who has been there for them when they have been unwell – this person could be a colleague, friend or family member who is also willing to share their story. (*Please note, we do not need all five people to have a supporter so please don’t let this put you off applying if you do not meet this criterion.)

The successful volunteers will be expected to take part in the following marketing activity:

  • A national radio campaign that will run for four weeks. An advert that features your story may be on air at peak times during the day – on channels such as Smooth radio, Absolute radio, Gold FM, Xfm and talkSport. The advert won’t necessarily mention the name of your organisation.
  • A national newspaper partnership (such as Metro) that will feature your experiences.
  • Articles in trade magazines targeted at people working in blue light services (for example, The Billboard and The Ambulance).
  • Bespoke videos that will go out to police forces, fire services, ambulance and search and rescue services across England.
  • Photographs that will appear on Mind marketing materials to promote blue light services. Ideally, we would also share your experiences in these materials.
  • Stories will be used on the Time to Change and Mind website and on social media. They could also be used in PR.

The majority of the work will be produced in December 2014 and January 2015. The radio recordings will take around two hours and will be recorded in a London-based studio. The print articles should take roughly the same amount of time but could be done over the phone. There will also be a photoshoot in London, where we would film volunteers telling their stories. Final dates will be announced closer to the time. All travel expenses will be covered.

Things to consider before taking part

If you do decide that you would like to take part in our campaign you should think carefully about the implications of sharing your story very publicly. Time to Change and Mind staff will be on hand at every step of the way to brief you and ensure that you’re happy with the process but you must consider that you would be sharing your story with the general public and your colleagues, and if you haven’t shared your experiences with anyone there’s a good chance they will find out when the campaign goes live.

We do have approval on all written articles so you would get to see them before they go to print and will get to make changes if you’re not happy. The radio adverts are recorded by a company that we commission so you will see the script before recording happens. You might want to think about the impact that this could have on family and friends.


End of November - All five volunteers are recruited

December 2014 - Radio adverts to be recorded in London

January 2014 - Interviews for advertorials in the national newspaper and trade publications. A photoshoot will also take place in London.

January 2014 - Videos will be filmed (at the photoshoot if possible)

February/March 2015 - Time to Change campaign will be rolled out England-wide

April 2015 through March 2016 -Targeted marketing materials will be distributed to blue light services across England to promote Mind’s support services.

What happens next?

Please email Mahbu Rahman with a short paragraph about your experience relating to mental health, attaching a recent digital photograph if possible. Please also state if you have a colleague, friend or family member that has been there for you and is willing to take part.

Once we have your details, Chris Kilvington from Time to Change’s Social Marketing Team will be in touch to talk through the process and answer any questions you might have.


Apply to take part

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