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#TakeOffTheTape: why people are suddenly talking about their worries online

Tuesday, 08 March 2016 Mind team

What is #TakeOffTheTape and why is it making people reveal their deepest worries online?

It started with a trickle but became a deluge. People everywhere, including SkyTV Fortitude actor Nicholas Pinnock and X Factor star Frankie Cocozza, have started taking on a challenge to open up about what makes us worried, stressed or anxious - by posting a revealing selfie on social media.

The #TakeOffTheTape campaign aims to challenge our ‘stiff upper lip’ culture by asking people to write down what’s really going on in their head on some tape, post a selfie with the tape over their mouth (safely!), and make a donation to mental health charity Mind.

It was created by MEC for Mind to help tackle the problem of bottled-up stress and anxiety. Despite the increasing focus on mental health these days, younger people are still hiding their true feelings. Four in five under-35 year olds say they put on a brave face when they are anxious. Perhaps most shockingly, a quarter of under-35s feel thatshowing their emotions is a sign of weakness.

#TakeOffTheTape aims to break that pattern by using a social media challenge, seen in campaigns like #nomakeupselfie - this time for the cause of better mental health.

As more people take part it is hoped that the trend will spread far and wide, so that future generations no longer feel that ‘showing emotions is a sign of weakness’ - instead talking about what makes them anxious and approaching organisations like Mind for information and support.

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