Our Boys (Young Black Men and Mental Health Programme)

Raw London

Client: NHS and Islington Council

This hard-hitting campaign raises awareness of a pioneering programme from the NHS and Islington Council designed to improve mental health outcomes for young Black men. It aims to break down barriers to receiving mental health support, including systemic discrimination, negative societal depictions and lack of early intervention. All of these factors contribute to the harsh reality is that Black men are 17 x more likely to develop severe mental health problems than any other group, and are 4 x more likely to be sectioned under the mental health act.

Centred on a conceptual 4-minute hero film, the authentic, empowering and elevating campaign involves and speaks directly to the target audience to avoid reinforcing negative stereotypes. Instead, it sheds a light on the trusted support systems young men can already find within their community - their family, their school counsellor, their coaches, even their barber. The campaign received a positive response from local communities and national newspapers, gaining huge exposure for the programme, and continues to be used to engage young men, their families and key stakeholders across the system.