BBH Singapore is aiming to break the stigma for men to seek help when dealing with mental heath challenges. In a new campaign launched ahead of International Men’s Day this weekend, the agency tries to counter outdated societal pressures in Singapore which expect men to be “emotionally strong” and thereby lead too many to internalise their mental health struggles.
A survey of 1,000 respondents conducted by BBH confirmed that 7 in 10 in Singapore believe men are expected to be more emotionally resilient than women. Consequently men become reluctant to seek help because they’ve learnt to deal with it. It's the top reason they cite in the survey for not seeking help.
Launched in partnership with Calm Collective, an organisation working to normalise mental health conversations in Asia, as well as Freeflow Productions, the new campaign is entitled 'Deal With It'.
Aiming to change the perception of how men should deal with their problems, a campaign film launched across digital platforms depicts a Singaporean man who appears to be working through his issues with someone—except he really isn't.
"Research shows that this habit of brushing off symptoms is even more evident in men who have been indoctrinated by a patriarchal society to deal with everything 'like a man'," says Gaston Soto, group creative director at BBH Singapore. "This thought-provoking film aims to shed light on this issue, suggesting that the best way to 'deal with it' is by asking for help. And when better than International Men’s Day to talk about this. This project means a lot to me and I’m very thankful for our partnership with Calm Collective to make a little difference in Singapore society”
“Calm Collective was founded in response to losing two dear male friends to suicide," said Sabrina Ooi, founder of Calm Collective. "This jolted us to break the stigma and to normalise mental health conversations in Asia, and amongst men. We are culturally and socially conditioned to place unrealistic expectations on men. This needs to stop – men need to stop questioning themselves and bottling up their challenges if they are struggling mentally, else it will be too late.”
Agency: BBH Singapore
Chief Creative Officer: Sascha Kuntze
Group Creative Director: Gaston Soto
Associate Creative Director: Adeline Siow
Associate Creative Director: Kenneth Foo
Art Director: Sixin Wu
Copywriter: Enkainia Lee
Business Director: Manavi Sharma
Senior Account Executive: Angel Fadila
Strategy Director: Amanda Lim
Senior Strategist: Felicia Ong
Strategist: Cheryl Koh
Junior Strategist: Maureen Alam
Junior Social Specialist: Kristal Lee
Production Partner: Freeflow Productions
Director: Roslee Yusof
Executive Producer: Jill Soong
Audio Production Partner: Fuse Adventures in Audio
Communications: Asiya Bakht, Beets PR