‘Groundbreaking’ Films Released #OKTOSAY


‘Groundbreaking’ Films Released to Encourage a
‘National Conversation’ on Mental Health

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry today released ten films as part of the Heads Together mental health campaign. The films feature people from all walks of life talking, often with the person that they first opened up to, about the life changing conversation that helped them cope with their mental health problems – from anxiety, alcoholism and depression through to loneliness, trauma and bereavement.

The first series for films, published today on the Heads Together YouTube page and website, includes: two mums of young children; musician Stephen Manderson (Professor Green) and Cricketer Freddie Flintoff; a journalist and her friend; comedian Ruby Wax and her husband Ed; two paramedics based in Blackpool; model Adwoa Aboah with her mum; a blogger and her mum; and writer Alastair Campbell talking with his partner, Fiona. The directors who have given their time to help create and support the films include Stephen Frears, Hugh O’Connor, John Madden, John Crowley, Paul Katis, and Sam Blair.

Freddie Flintoff and Professor Green open up about their battles with mental health illness
Freddie Flintoff and Professor Green open up about their battles with mental health illness

Freddie and Stephen
Stephen Manderson – better known by his stage name Professor Green – is an English rapper, singer, songwriter and documentary maker. He is also a patron of Calm, which is the charity dedicated to preventing male suicide in the UK.

Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff MBE is a former captain of the England cricket team. He won BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in 2005 and in 2006 he was awarded an MBE.

In this conversation, Stephen and Freddie talk about their own experiences of mental health and the benefits of speaking openly.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry said
“Since we launched Heads Together last May, we have seen time and time again that shattering stigma on mental health starts with simple conversations. When you realise that mental health problems affect your friends, neighbours, children and spouses, the walls of judgement and prejudice around these issues begin to fall. And we all know that you cannot resolve a mental health issue by staying silent.

“Attitudes to mental health are at a tipping point. We hope these films show people how simple conversations can change the direction of an entire life. Please share them with your friends and families and join us in a national conversation on mental health in the weeks ahead.”

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, which is one of the Heads Together Charity Partners, said:
“It is truly groundbreaking to see so many people, from all walks of life, sharing their mental health experiences on film in the hope of inspiring others to strike up their own conversation. These films have the power to spark life-changing and, in some cases, life-saving conversations. We hope that there will be a snowball effect with more and more people seeing the benefits of speaking out and supporting each other.”

Presenting the research at the preview CEO of YouGov, Stephan Shakespeare, said:
“The nation is at a tipping point in our willingness to talk openly about mental health, and it is young people who are taking the lead. Our research shows that while nearly half of the British public has had a conversation about mental health in the past three months, there is still a long way to go. This is especially true among groups who are less likely to speak out, such as older people and men. This study, one of the most comprehensive ever carried out on the topic, shows how important talking about mental health can be. For instance, of those that have had such conversations, more than eight in ten found it helpful. As our research – and the work of ‘Heads together’ – shows, we are at a moment of opportunity in opening up to this vital health issue.”

To watch the ten short films, click on the images below…

Alastair Campbell and his partner Fiona also speak out about mental health issues
Alastair is best known for his role as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s spokesman, press secretary and director of communications and strategy. Alastair has campaigned relentlessly to end stigma around mental health. In this film, Alastair talks to his partner Fiona about his own experiences.
Freddie Flintoff and Professor Green open up about their battles with mental health illness
Freddie Flintoff and Professor Green open up about their battles with mental health illness








Julie and Phil
Phil talks to his wife Julie about his mental health and the difference that speaking openly has made after he contracted Q Fever whilst serving as a Royal Marine in Iraq.
Naa-Affie and Anni
Anni is a journalist. She has spoken openly about the stigma attached to mental health issues within the black community. In this conversation she talks about the first time she confided in her best friend, Naa-Affie, on a beach in Barcelona while they were on holiday.








Ruby Wax (left) and Ed Bye
American actress, mental health campaigner, speaker and author Ruby Wax OBE speaks with her husband, Ed, about the first time she revealed her mental illness to him. Ruby is an ambassador for Mind and SANE.
Ghanaian-English Adwoa Aboah has modelled for Calvin Klein, H&M, Fendi and many others. In this film, she opens up to her mother Camilla Lowther about their first conversations around her mental health.








Mark and Maddy Austin filming for Heads Together
Maddy Austin is a studying biochemistry at university and will be running the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon for Place2Be, one of the charity partners of Heads Together. In this film she talks to her father, broadcaster Mark Austin, about her teenage battle with anorexia.
Katie and Sarah
Katie and Sarah were struggling with the loneliness associated with becoming new mums when they started an awkward conversation in a playground. The relationship that ensued made their experience of motherhood more fun because they could share the highs and lows of life with small children.








Jo blogs under the name “The Lady London”. In this conversation, she speaks with her mum Sue about the moment she first opened up about her mental health challenges and the difference it has made.
Dan and Rich
Dan is an emergency medical technician. A couple of years ago he had a traumatic experience on the job and started having flashbacks and nightmares, later diagnosed as PTSD. He reached out and confided in his colleague, Rich, and attributes that conversation to helping him overcome it.








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