Nottingham Forest and the Nottingham Forest Community Trust have launched their ‘It’s Tricky to Talk’ campaign, to encourage fans to talk more openly about their mental health problems and seek support.
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in males aged between 30 and 40, with 75 per cent of all suicide victims in the UK being male. The Club and the Trust are looking to help reach out to fans and encourage them to talk.
In 2017, the club was saddened to hear that Forest fans Jonathan McCartney, 35, and Will Garvey, 20, both unexpectedly took their own lives.
After losing their sons, the families of both Jonathan and Will reached out to the Community Trust having set up their own trusts – Jonathan’s Voice and The Will Garvey Foundation (WTF – Why Talking Fixes) – to help raise awareness and encourage people to speak out about their mental health.
This week they joined forces to share the message with fans and the wider community and launch ‘It’s Tricky to Talk’ – and we at Stag Communications were so proud to be a part of it.
We were invited by the Head of Performance at Nottingham Forest Community Trust, Rachel Whysall, to work with her and her fantastic team, to put together three videos for It’s Tricky to Talk, highlighting mental health issues in both men and women. We worked alongside NFCT to bring their vision to reality. They had also partnered with the Institute of Mental Health; and their Head of Communications, Lou Rudkin, and Assistant professor in mental health at the University of Nottingham, Dr Tim Carter, played a integral part in the project, making sure what we were filming was as close to reality as possible.
Lots of time was spent building the stories for It’s Tricky to Talk, discussing at length the emotions we were looking to garner from our fantastic actors, and Dr Carter spent the day filming with us, to make sure everything we did was sympathetic and representative of people living with mental health problems.
All our actors were fantastic, we even had two children, who were a testament to their parents, so well behaved and really understood what it was they were asked to do.
The filming for the It’s Tricky to Talk videos took place over a few days, capturing time at the ground on a match day (we were there when Forest beat Hull 3-0!) and then on separate days to capture our drone footage, and the filming that showed the isolation felt by the characters we were portraying.
We’re so proud of the work that went into creating these videos, and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with Nottingham Forest Community Trust and the Club themselves, as well as the players, who were really supportive, particularly Jack Robinson, who supported the families and the Trust at the launch yesterday.
The It’s Tricky to Talk campaign has already achieved some fantastic local and regional media coverage, but most heartening is the reaction from fans on social media, who have told their stories, showed their support and shared the message far and wide. What a club and what a fantastic campaign – if this can reach out to just one person, and save their lives, it will have done its job, though we hope it can reach so many more.
The campaign includes the production of our videos, but the Club will also make sure that all 2019-20 season card holders will receive a self-help guide with their season card for next season, as well as offering and providing support through key partners (see below).
Some jobs you fall in love with. This is one of them.
If you are experiencing mental health problems, or know someone who is, the following charities and organisations can provide further help and support:
Call: 0300 123 3393
Call: 116 123 (from any phone)
Call: 0115 934 8445