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Raising awareness

SANE campaigns to raise awareness, improve services, influence mental health policy as well as combat the stigma and ignorance, which often exacerbate the distress that people experience.

Below are some examples of the campaigns SANE has led.


The nature of depression can discourage people from talking about their illness, cutting them off from help.

Yet research shows 69% of helpline callers found that talking to someone enabled them to cope better and feel supported, less anxious, and more in control.

SANE encouraged more people to get in touch by launching #LetMeTalk, a national advertising campaign in 2018.

The campaign featured a film showing a man being silenced by an unidentified intruder who covers his mouth as he struggles to answer the phone.

The intruder is a metaphor for the man’s depression, who wants to stop him talking. The film ends with the line: “Your depression doesn’t want you to talk. But we do.” 

“You don’t have to struggle with depression, there are medical and psychological therapies which are effective and can transform a person’s life. Many of the people who contact us are reaching out for the first time and no longer feel afraid and alone.”

Marjorie Wallace CBE, SANE Chief Executive

A social media campaign #LetMeTalk saw celebrities including Stephen Fry and Ruby Wax participate in a mass day of silence on Twitter, with only the typing icon posted that day. After 24 hours the reason for their silence was revealed. 

On Instagram influencers posted images of themselves with a stranger’s hand across their face. The campaign film was shared with followers.

“People with depression tend to stay quiet about their condition. They shy away from sharing their struggles with colleagues, loved ones and friends, yet it’s a proven fact that talking about your depression is often the way to defeat it.”

SANE Ambassador James Arthur

The campaign was created by advertising agency Iris, with the film shot by up-and-coming director Youness Benali through production company Sweetshop. The stills were shot by the renowned British fashion photographer Rankin. The campaign ran across digital channels and outdoor posters.

“Talking about mental health is an important step towards addressing problems, yet often it is the hardest thing for those suffering to do. I hope those in need are able to connect with these images and with this campaign, and are able to reach out for the help available to them.”


You can watch the #LetMeTalk video below.

Hanna’s story

Hanna Stanbridge

SANE teamed up with actress Hanna Stanbridge to support her show I Hate Myself So People Will Like Me (and Other Strategies for Success) at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival.

Hanna’s solo comedy show raised awareness around mental health, in particular, anorexia. I Hate Myself followed Hanna completing two years as series regular in BBC drama River City. She has suffered from depression and anorexia.

Hanna called SANEline and our helpline volunteers provided the space and time she needed to talk about her mental health, and the guidance given helped her hold hope and move forward.

Hanna has gone on to achieve much success as an actress, and now lives in Los Angeles, California, pursuing her career.

Her acting credits include playing Alana in Ladybaby and the character Angel Delaney in River City. She also won a Scottish BAFTA for her first feature film, Outcast in 2010.

“Back when I was at my lowest and with no one else who I trusted or felt I could be completely honest about my ‘crazy’ thoughts I called SANE. The first time, I simply cried down the phone then hung up. But SANE’s incredible staff were always there – no matter what I said and did. And always knew what to say or to just listen; whatever I needed.”

Watch Hanna in Stand Up To Stigma – A mental health panel discussion at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe below.

Still Forgotten

Our campaign to raise awareness of the difficulties people affected by schizophrenia face led us to publish the Still Forgotten report.

Key survey findings from the report include:

  • One in nine people with schizophrenia or experience of an episode of psychosis received no support service following diagnosis.
  • Family members and carers feel more unsupported by healthcare professionals than patients themselves. Despite the major role this group plays, 61% said they felt unsupported.
  • One in four healthcare professionals did not feel sufficiently informed about what service options are available for their patients.

Survey respondents had a diagnosis of schizophrenia or experience of psychosis. Some were family members or carers of people affected and others were healthcare professionals. A small number of participants answered on behalf of someone else.

We want the government and policymakers to implement our recommendations on how the care system can be improved.

Download the Still Forgotten report (PDF, 4MB)

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