To mark World Mental Health Day this Thursday, Bauer Media brands are calling on audiences to ditch social media for one hour.

The media group is joining the campaign after insight commissioned by the mental health awareness initiative it helped set up, Where’s Your Head At?, revealed the worries surrounding the effects of social media on mental health.

The research found:

  • 72% agree it is important to have a break from social media every once in a while;
  • 41% say social media is important to them but 81% agree that social media should be used in moderation;
  • 96% believe that looking after your mental health is just as important as your physical health (Source: Mental Health Survey, Bauer Insiders (October 2019)

Big brands to join blackout

Bauer Media’s brands including Absolute Radio, Grazia, heat, Magic, Closer and Hits Radio will be calling on their audiences to join them in a social media blackout from 1-2pm on Thursday 10 October.

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During this time, these brands will refrain from posting or commenting and will call on audiences to start face to face conversations – hoping to encourage open discussions around mental health in support of Where’s Your Head At?

This follows comments from influencer Zoe Sugg who revealed to this week’s Grazia she believes intermittent social media breaks are essential for maintaining good mental health.

“What works for me is taking a bit more time off social media”, she said. “Take a step back in terms of sharing too – sometimes it’s nice to give just myself that time to live my life.

“I make sure everyone I’m following is making me feel motivated and positive confident and nothing that makes me feel bad.”

Social media blackout: Bauer brands will stop posting for one hour.

Commenting on the activity, Abby Carvosso Group Managing Director Bauer Media Advertising said: “At Bauer Media, we firmly believe your mental health is as important as your physical health which is why our Where’s Your Head At? mission is so critical.

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“Whilst social media can be a force for good, our audiences are telling us a short social break can have a positive impact on their mental health which is why we’re enacting our first social media blackout from across our brand portfolio.”

Sarah Barnes, People and Culture Director Bauer Media UK, added, “As a diverse and progressive employer, we are working to ensure parity of treatment for mental and physical health for all of our people.

“As part of our commitment to Belonging at Bauer, we now have 27 trained mental health first aiders and are working towards having one in every Bauer site.

“Our work continues to ensure Bauer is a great place to do great work for all.”

Other activities

Other activity from across Bauer Media to mark World Mental Health Day includes programming from Absolute Radio to promote positive mental health conversations: Time to Listen, which is funded by the Audio Content Fund and produced in partnership with TBI Media.

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This series will see some of the UK’s best-loved musicians and comedians talking about the songs which have inspired them, the songs which they turn to in times of darkness and the songs which signpost the best moments in their life.

One story and song will be played each weeknight from Monday 14 October at 7.30pm on Danielle Perry’s evening show with directions of where to get support.

Confirmed guests include: Adam Clayton (U2), Sam Fender, Skin (Skunk Anansie) and Miles Kane.

Amy Hart opens up in heat mag

In addition to this, heat has spoken to Amy Hart about her experiences of mental health and support received from Love Island producers; Zoe Sugg (most commonly known as Zoella) has spoken to Grazia about her experiences of anxiety and Creative Editorial Director Lucie Cave will be hosting a panel on trolling at the Festival of Marketing.

This activity follows successful campaigns by Trail (Mountains for the Mind) and Country Walking (#Walk1000Miles) encouraging further transparency around mental health.