Celebs including Stephen Fry & Ruby Wax take over C4 continuity for Mental Health Awareness

A host of guest celebrity continuity announcers, including Mind charity’s President Stephen Fry, will take over Channel 4’s airwaves to mark Mental Health Awareness Week from Monday (8 May).

High profile figures joining Stephen Fry in the Channel 4 continuity announcer takeover include Mind ambassadors Ruby Wax and mental health campaigner Alastair Campbell, along with former football manager Alan Pardew.

Stephen Fry will tell viewers: “As someone with bipolar disorder who has suffered especially from the shame and the silence and the lack of communication that my own unwillingness to come forward about my own condition led to, I know how important it is to talk.”

Channel 4’s Continuity Creative Managers partnered with Mind, one of the leading mental health charity in England and Wales, to promote the week which aims to raise public awareness about mental health issues and encourage viewers to talk and seek help for their own mental health problems.

Channel 4’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Dan Brooke said: “Mental health impacts so many people's lives, far more than we are prepared to admit, so it's essential that we surface this iceberg of a taboo and talk about it in plain view."

A host of other Mind ambassadors and celebrity supporters of the charity will join the week-long mic announcer take over. They include SB.TV founder Jamal Edwards MBE, Designated Survivor actor Natascha McElhone and former professional footballer Clarke Carlisle. They will tell their own personal stories or outline their support for Mental Health Awareness Week on Channel 4, E4 and More 4 and encourage viewers to join in the conversation on Twitter using #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.

Several other celebrities are also due to make special recordings to air on Channel 4 channels including Olympic superstar Dame Kelly Holmes, TV presenter Matt Johnson, Years and Years singer Olly Alexander, Nicole Barber Lane who plays Myra McQueen in Hollyoaks and Top Boy actor Nicholas Pinnock.

Mind’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Farmer said: “Mind’s own research* has shown that when celebrities speak out about their own mental health in the media it can play an important role in inspiring people to start a conversation about their own mental health, and can encourage them to seek help. We are therefore so grateful to Channel 4, and to our celebrity supporters, for getting behind the initiative and helping to raise vital awareness.”

The celebrities will be joined by other contributors such as former military man Steve Gardener, massive film and Watford fan JJ and artist/illustrator Loren Connor who will talk about issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. The continuity takeover will run until Friday, 12 May.

Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual campaign organised by the Mental Health Foundation. James Harris, Head of Media & Communications at the Mental Health Foundation said: “We all have mental health, and most of us in our lifetime are likely to experience a mental health problem. Alongside there being much more we need to do to support people living with mental ill-health, Mental Health Awareness Week provides an opportunity to reinforce that there are steps we can all take to understand, protect and sustain good mental health.”

For more details contact Tim English at tenglish@channel4.co.uk or call 020 7306 6984

Notes to Editors

  • * A Populus survey commissioned by Mind found that a quarter of respondents (24%) agreed that hearing accounts about mental health from people in the public eye helped them to feel less alone and one in five (21%) had started a conversation about mental health inspired by celebrity stories in the news. The poll was conducted by Populus, who interviewed UK adults online between 9th and 11th November 2016 with 2,038 respondents.

About Mind:

  • We’re Mind, the mental health charity. We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. We won't give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets both support and respect. www.mind.org.uk (opens in a new window)
  • Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case.
  • Mind has a confidential information and support line, Mind Infoline, available on 0300 123 3393 (lines open 9am - 6pm, Monday – Friday)
  • Please contact the media team for interviews or further information on 0208 522 1743.
  • For out of hours support, call 07850 788 514 or email media@mind.org.uk
  • To access a range of free images to accompany mental health news stories, visit: www.time-to-change.org.uk/getthepicture (opens in a new window). These images have been developed by Time to Change, a growing movement of people changing how we all think and act about mental health problems. Time to Change is run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund.

May 5, 2017 6:13am ET by Channel 4  

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