The VICE Guide to Mental Health seeks to address and understand some of the many issues around the mental health of young people in the UK today, ahead of the General Election on May 7th.
VICE has commissioned and produced a wide range of original, in-depth reports, hard-hitting first person articles and a documentary film designed to widen conversations around mental health amongst young people, utilising case studies and Mind’s expertise to put the fallacies and failings of Britain’s current mental healthcare system in a human framing.
The project will reach a huge international audience as VICE has translated all content into six languages across fifteen territories, with local editorial pieces commissioned in all of those territories.
One in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year and yet conversations in the public sphere remain diminutive: ‘The VICE Guide to Mental Health’ aims to remove the stigma around talking about mental health and deliver a human-focused campaign that shows the reality of living with a range of mental health problems.
Editorial content includes moving first hand accounts on issues ranging from dealing with depression and associated medication; personal stories of overcoming and coping with an eating disorder, anxiety and suicidal thoughts; an investigation into mental health within black, ethnic minority and LGBT communities; uncovering underreported illnesses such emetophobia; analysing the semantics of mental health and an exploration of Mind’s latest Infoline statistics, which show the impact of austerity cuts on vulnerable people battling mental health conditions.
Additionally, VICE has produced an original documentary, following the 118-mile journey a Hull mother must make to see her daughter who’s been admitted to a specialist mental health unit in Sheffield.
This partnership with Mind will utilise VICE’s unparalleled reach and engagement amongst young people alongside Mind’s wealth of knowledge and case studies to bring these stories to the fore and drive home the message that mental health problems are common and treatable.
The content will live in a dedicated ‘The VICE Guide to Mental Health’ hub on VICE.com, with VICE and Mind promoting this material across both organisations’ social networks, using #VICEMIND, in order to take the content and issues to new audiences.
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind says: “We are delighted to be working with VICE UK on this powerful and informative campaign, which will provide vital insight and commentary about mental health amongst young people in the UK. Young people are at the heart of ‘The VICE Guide to Mental Health’ and the powerful film, first person accounts and interviews are empowering people with mental health problems to share their stories and help others feel less alone. For the most part, the way society thinks about mental health is changing for the better – and much of that is thanks to campaigns like this, which will continue to shift the thinking, and behaviour, of people in the UK. We've seen that VICE's work exposes the need for frank, exploratory dialogue when it comes to mental health and we’re looking forward to working with them long term, to help to tell the real story of mental health.”
VICE’s Senior Editor, Eleanor Morgan commissioned ‘The VICE Guide to Mental Health’. She adds: “Each year, one in every four Britons will experience mental health problems. To put that in context, the same percentage of Brits ‘drink to get drunk’, snore and steal those little bars of soap from hotel rooms.
“For VICE, mental health feels like the most urgent topic of discussion in the run up to this year’s election. This is because the coalition government seem to have spent the last five years designing a country with which to provoke a mental health epidemic, while simultaneously hacking away at the safety net that is there to deal with such a crisis. So, with Election ’15 just days away, and with none of the main parties pledging enough support for the ailing NHS, we decided to highlight just how important mental health provision is. Like all of VICE’s election coverage, we have sought to look beyond the pantomime and hone in on the issues at hand. Who is eventually elected matters far less than the work that there is to be done after May 7th; they will all have the same problems to solve.
“We hope that The VICE Guide to Mental Health makes plain just how big a problem mental healthcare is in Britain today.”
You can read The VICE Guide to Mental Health here and follow the conversation on Twitter #VICEMIND.