‘Seize the Awkward’ Partners with Guild Wars 2 Game, Chegg.org, and Media Platforms to Encourage Kids to Check Out Their Friends’ Mental Health Amid Unprecedented 2020 Back-to-School Season
Last March, the coronavirus uprooted the educational experience of high school and college students across the United States, which negatively impacted their mental health. According to the Chegg.org study, titled “COVID-19 and Mental Health: How American’s college and high school student have the pandemic,” more than half of students surveyed in August (58% college, 53% high school) said that they were “moderately”, “very” or “extremely” worried about their mental health. In addition, half of the students said they had suffered from anxiety, more than a third said they had suffered from depression, and almost a quarter said they had known someone having thoughts of suicide since the start of the pandemic. The most painful, 5% of middle and high school students say they themselves made a suicide attempt during the pandemic. Nonetheless, the presence of friends proved to be an important support system for students during this uncertain time. Since the onset of the virus, more than half (55%) of students surveyed have offered their support to a friend they thought was in trouble – while almost half (48%) had a friend who gave them support. contacted.
“It is heartbreaking that so many students know someone who had suicidal thoughts during the Covid-19 pandemic, or attempted suicide themselves,” said Lila thomas, Director of Social Impact and Director of Chegg.org. “In an age where student education, social media and the future have been turned upside down, it is imperative that colleges and schools do a much better job of educating students in the age of COVID and beyond. , they will need to make fundamental changes to better serve the student.
As young people face continuous unpredictability and students in particular face the anxiety and uncertainty surrounding returning to class, Guild Wars 2 and Grab the awkward has created a whole new suite of creative assets, including a broadcast spot, digital banners and out-of-home (OOH) advertisements highlighting the many ways in which teens and young adults can contact each other and learn about each other’s mental health. Until September 29e, the more than 11 million players of the game can also claim a Grab the awkward a logo t-shirt for their in-game character and a special potion that will help start a mental health conversation with the campaign’s iconic yellow bubble, via the in-game gem store. Developed by ArenaNet and published by NCSOFT in 2012, Guild Wars 2 has a reputation for its inclusive and supportive online community. To complete the partnership, ArenaNet and the Ad Council will organize a virtual panel entitled “Build your guild: make friends and support them in the game”, on how players make friendships and support each other in the game, at PAX on September 12e, of 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET on Twitch.
“For many people facing a back-to-school season marked by uncertainty and increased isolation, it is more important than ever that young people check the mental health of others,” said Heidi arthur, campaign development manager at the Advertising Council. “Through this extraordinary group of digital and social partners and platforms, we are able to give young adults the encouragement and resources to easily start potentially life-saving conversations. “
To reach the target audience of the campaign, Grab the awkward will be featured on AFSP Instagram channel as part of a series of resources offering tips and advice on prevention and mental health awareness. the Enter the awkward Instagram will also organize an expert question-and-answer session with AFSP Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Christine Moutier at September 25e, where users can ask mental health questions and consult with their friends.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death in young adults, and for every youth suicide, an estimated 100 to 200 more attempt suicide.1 Adulthood is a critical time when many people experience mental health issues as well as significant stress associated with life transitions, such as gaining more independence and responsibility when they leave home. and start college or a career.
“Enabling and facilitating a positive and supportive community is at the heart of our games,” said Katy radelich, Director of Events and Partnerships at NCSOFT. “We are continually blown away by the meaningful connections players have made through epic exploration and adventures in the fantasy world of Guild Wars 2. The message behind Seize the Awkward means a lot to us and we look forward to helping deliver it to our players, especially at a time when the global COVID pandemic has disrupted daily life. ”
In addition, throughout the month of September, the following digital, social and media partners will provide significant visibility and personalized content for Grab the awkward on their platforms:
- BuzzFeed: BuzzFeed has created four Grab the awkward BuzzCut Videos in Support of the Campaign Launch on September 10e.
- Facebook: Facebook’s Creative Store contributed creative services and donated media to develop a series of unique animated videos, interactive ads, and an AR filter inspired by real responses from the Grab the awkward audience, demonstrating the many ways young people can reach out and check in with a friend.
- Initiative: Global media company Initiative is bringing its expertise to support the campaign through the development and pro bono execution of a personalized media strategy to secure additional high profile targeted media.
- Reddit: Reddit is supporting the campaign with media donated throughout September. To coincide with World Mental Health Day (October 10e), the platform will also promote an Ask Me Anything (AMA). Participants will be able to ask questions about mental health and how to support a friend who may be struggling.
- Snap, Inc: To coincide with Suicide Prevention Week (September 6e-12e), Snap will promote two custom Snapchat filters nationwide to support the campaign. The first will has been put online September 6e and the second will be available on September 12e.
- TIC Tac: The leading destination for short-lived mobile video, provides campaign support throughout September.
- Tumblr: In honor of World Mental Health Day (October 10e), Tumblr will organize an edition of L’Heure with a mental health expert in partnership with the campaign. Users will have the option to ask both mental health and support questions to their friends.
Since its launch in January 2018, Grab the awkward collected 35.2 million videos viewed and over 923,000 sessions on seizetheawkward.org, where visitors can explore resources and tools to help them start a conversation with a friend about mental health. In late August, the website was relaunched with more in-depth resources to help young people, including tips on navigating specific topics like grieving a loved one, when talking to a friend about their mental health. . The campaign also received the Shorty Award 2020 for the best use of a spokesperson for its partnership with musician Billie Eilish. To learn more about the campaign, visit seizetheawkward.org and @SeizeTheAwkward on Instagram. For immediate, free 24/7 assistance, call 1-800-273-8255 or send “SIXTEEN” to 741741.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a smart mental health culture through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support to those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert gebbia and headquartered at new York, and with a public policy office in Washington DCAFSP has locals in all 50 states with nationwide programs and events. Find out more about the AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.
The Jed Foundation (JED)
JED is a non-profit organization that exists to protect emotional health and prevent suicide among teens and young adults in our country. We work in partnership with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, addiction and suicide prevention programs and systems. We equip teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other. We promote community awareness, understanding and action for young adult mental health. Learn more about jedfoundation.org.
The Advertising Council
The Ad Council is the place where creativity and causes converge. The nonprofit brings together the most creative minds in advertising, media, technology and marketing to tackle many of the country’s most important causes. The Ad Council has created many of the most iconic campaigns in advertising history. Friends don’t let their friends drive drunk. Smoky bear. Love has no labels.
The Advertising Council’s innovative social welfare campaigns raise awareness, inspire action and save lives. To learn more, visit AdCouncil.org, follow the communities of the Advertising Council on Facebook and Twitter, and display the creation on Youtube.
Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 is a massively multiplayer role-playing game that combines fast-paced combat and dynamic large-scale events, all set in the rich and detailed fantasy world of Tyria. Players are invited to join other players around the world online in an epic battle against the Elder Magic-devouring Dragons. Rated annually as one of the best MMOs by critics, continuously recognized for its “art brought to life” approach to game design, and renowned for its strong community, the game continues to evolve with episodic stories. free games called Living World, which offer new features Explorable Zones and play activities. The final chapter of this ongoing story is currently taking place throughout 2020 in The Saga of the Broods of Ice. the Guild wars The franchise will turn 15 in April and is being developed by ArenaNet in Bellevue, WA, and published by NCSOFT. More than guildwars2.com.
1 CDC; ACHA NCHA
SOURCE The Advertising Council