‘Time to Change’ is England’s biggest and most ambitious campaign to end mental health discrimination.
Run by leading mental health charities Mind and Rethink, it is being backed by £16 million from the Big Lottery Fund and £2 million from Comic Relief.
Launched in January of this year (2009), the latest phase of the campaign includes a more provocative piece which tackles the stigma surrounding mental illness head on.
Two films - 'Schizo Movie' and 'Kids' Party' - have been launched online for a number of reasons, firstly because most mainstream movies are launched through rich media online and the charity wanted to ape this type of media placement.
Secondly a vital part of this campaign is to encourage people to pass on these films to friends so online is the perfect environment to facilitate the viral spread of the campaign.
In ‘Schizo Movie’ the viewer is fooled into believing that it’s a promo for a thriller. It purposefully takes its cues from horror movie trailers, using lots of dark imagery.
However once the film starts to play we meet Stuart who is a regular guy, but who also happens to have schizophrenia. This approach allows TTC to challenge the perceptions people have about people with mental health problems without finger-pointing.
“Both films have been designed to attract members of the public who don’t realize they are causing stigma and discrimination,” said Director of Time to Change, Sue Baker.
“Evidence shows that provocative films make a big difference to attitudes and both films will go a long way to reducing the stigma associated with mental health problems.
She added, “One in four of us will have a mental health problem at some stage of our lives. It can happen to anyone. Stigma and discrimination wrecks lives.
“Yet everyone can make a change in their attitudes now – you don’t need to be an expert to make a difference to friend, family member or colleague who needs your support.”