How Childline reassured children they’re not suffering alone | WARC | The Feed
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How Childline reassured children they’re not suffering alone
Charities & voluntary organisations United Kingdom
Childline, a free counselling service for children up to the age of 19, reassured young people in the UK that they are not suffering alone with its empathetic “Under the Skin” campaign.
Child mental health crisis
- The UK is facing a child mental health crisis with around 7% of children having attempted suicide by the age of 17.
- Over 90% of parents are more worried about their child’s mental health than ever before.
- Many children suffering from poor mental health believe themselves to be alone with their struggles.
The personal fable
- Childline found that many teenagers suffer from a cognitive development issue known as “the personal fable”.
- This makes them feel like they don’t fit in and leads them to believe their problems are unique.
- In reality, almost everyone feels like they don’t fit in.
Focusing on empathy
- Childline built its campaign around empathy (understanding how someone feels) rather than sympathy (feeling sorry for someone) and demonstrated to young people that feeling different is a universal struggle.
- Childline released a stop-motion film in which a creature disguises itself in the skin of a “normal” teenager and believes he is alone with his struggles before realising he is not the only one hiding something.
- In an act of empathy and solidarity, the creature removes his skin to reveal the secrets he has been hiding and inspires his classmates to do likewise.
- The campaign garnered over 63m impressions and reached 7.7 million young people.
- During the campaign, Childline’s 121 chat and support pages saw strong uplifts in views and users.
- The work won Gold in the 2021 APG Creative Strategy Awards.
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