The campaign was launched yesterday, 10 October, to coincide with World Mental Health Day. Credit: Freepik.

South Moravian Region Launches Campaign To Improve Young People’s Mental Health

A mental health awareness campaign for young people has launched in South Moravia, with the central message that mental health is just as important as physical health. Communication on social networks and the web will help struggling youths to understand and find support for their mental health problems.

Yesterday, 10 October, was World Mental Health Day, and was therefore chosen by representatives of the South Moravian Region and the Moravian Educational Institute (VIM) to present a new campaign aimed at young people between the ages of 10 and 20, with the slogan “a head full of difficult thoughts”. The main channels for the campaign are Instagram and TikTok, for which four clips were created. A banner campaign will also run.

“Pupils’ mental health is important to us, and thanks to feedback from schools, we perceive that it is a real problem among pupils and students,” said Karel Jurka, South Moravian Regional councillor for education. “Of course, the campaign is not self-serving, which is why we are also financially supporting the activities of prevention assistants and school psychologists, who are unfortunately in short supply in education. For this year, we allocated over CZK 30 million to professions in the field of mental health, and we count on similar commitments in the planned budget for 2024.” 

A key component of the campaign is a new portal which carries links to targeted support sites and provides initial advice with problems. 

“Mental health is one of the priority topics of the regional leadership, which is why we are not only providing financial support, but also striving for greater awareness,” said Jana Holomčík Leitnerová, regional councillor for social affairs and family policy. “However, until today there was not even one comprehensive portal in the South Moravian Region offering an overview of organisations that could help in times of trouble. Not only teenagers, but also teachers or parents can now find help more easily. At the same time, it also contains contacts for a professional helpline which can be contacted in the most serious cases.” 

The campaign, which is represented by a smiley face in the shape of a stone, depicting the heavy burden of thoughts, is the first partial output of the social team which has been working at VIM since September, with the task of coordinating activities in the field of mental health and educating social workers. 

The total budget of the campaign is approximately CZK 2.5 million, with much of the cost going towards permanent investments, such as the portal, the creative concept, and others. Although a large part of the campaign will take place online, it will also be visible in more traditional spaces. 

“We invested mainly in advertising areas at bus stops near schools and on billboards,” said Leona Sapíková, director of VIM, which is implementing the campaign. “Spots that are part of the advertisement will run on public transport and regional bus lines. The spots performed by actors from the Brno Conservatory are the most important pillar. They show the viewers that they are not alone in their problems and that they can be solved.” 

The need to address the mental health of pupils is also confirmed by hard data. “According to data from the Institute of Health Information and Statistics (ÚZIS), 6,017 patients under the age of 18 sought the care of a psychiatrist in the South Moravian Region in 2021,” added Pavla Kovářová, head of the social area team at VIM. “The World Health Organization warns that up to 20% of children and adolescents will experience some form of mental illness. Half of the first symptoms of the disease, which can persist into adulthood, appear before the age of 14. Most children and young people do not have access to early help or do not seek it. This is due to a number of reasons, one of which is the lack of information and the frequent stigmatisation of mental disorders. We are also developing mental health support and implementing a campaign to remove these obstacles.” 

The campaign will run in the streets from 10 October to 30 November; ads on social networks are planned until the end of the year, with long-term communication on established profiles under the leadership of the VIM social area team.

South Moravian Region Launches Campaign To Improve Young People’s Mental Health
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