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Radio stations join together to deliver the Mental Health Minute

Posted on: May 18, 2020 by Mariella Brown

Radio stations across the UK joined forces this morning to mark the start of Mental Health Awareness week.

The message was “we’re all connected” during the pandemic.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were among two of the voices appearing on the Mental Health Minute which focuses on how people can support each other during the Covid-19 crisis.

The broadcast marks the first time that a message has been played on so many stations at the same time with commercial, community, national BBC and local BBC stations airing the message.

Twenty million listeners would have tuned into the broadcast which was joined by BBC Radio 4 for the first time since the launch of the Mental Health Minute initiative in 2018.

This year’s message highlights that whoever you are and whatever you’re going through, it’s okay to reach out. The broadcast featured England captain Harry Kane, actor David Tennant, singer Dua Lipa and heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.

The initiative was overseen by Radiocentre and Heads Together, the mental health campaign set up by the Cambridges’ Royal Foundation.

Prince William spoke about the positive effect of opening up about mental health in his message: “We’re all connected. And sometimes just talking about how you’re feeling can make a big difference.”

Kate added: “If you’re struggling, it’s important to talk about it. Or if someone you know who is acting differently, it’s OK to ask how they are. Use this moment to send a message.”

David Tennant referenced the Covid-19 crisis as a crucial time for Mental Health Awareness week, saying on the broadcast: “Right now, we all need each other more than ever. And in the weeks and months ahead of us, we will all have an important role to play in being there for one another.”

As part of the initiative, Heads Together Wellbeing Guides have been produced with content from mental health organisations and individuals to provide support to readers during the pandemic.

The guides covering three topics – talking, self-care and kindness – will be launched on Instagram this afternoon.  

Siobhan Kenny, chief executive of Radiocentre, which produced the message, said: “It is so apt in this most extraordinary of times that the entire radio industry is uniting behind the Mental Health Minute.

“We are delighted to be able to use the unique power of radio to highlight this important message to millions of listeners and to continue our support for Heads Together.”

Mental Health Awareness week will run from Monday 18 May to Sunday 24 May. To access mental health resources, visit www.headstogether.org.uk or search @Heads_Together on Instagram.

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