Radiocentre, the industry body for commercial radio, has signed up rap star Professor Green to front a new campaign aimed at helping millions of Brits deal with issues such as isolation, bereavement, conflict and self-care during the coronavirus crisis.
The trade body has partnered with The Royal Foundation’s Heads Together campaign to bring together ten leading mental health charities for the special new content series, 60 Second Support, which launches today (April 27).
Each edition will be introduced by Professor Green, who is patron of suicide prevention charity CALM, and has been a long-standing supporter of the Heads Together campaign. The first segment to air will feature presenter and philanthropist Katie Piper on the importance of reaching out and starting conversations about mental health, even when people cannot be with their loved ones in person.
The 60 Second Support series brings together the expertise of ten mental health charities: The Anna Freud Centre; Best Beginnings; CALM; Place2Be; The Mix; Mind; Shout, YoungMinds; and both Combat Stress and Help for Heroes as part of the Contact collaboration. It is supported by Heads Together, a campaign run by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, which brings together leading mental health charities in the UK to change the conversation on mental health.
Every day, a new episode in the series will be given to stations in the UK and could reach a potential audience of more than 48 million people, with nine out of ten people in the UK tuning in to the radio every week, according to latest industry figures from Rajar.
Recent figures show the average time spent listening to commercial stations during the lockdown has nearly doubled to 26 hours a week.
The series will feature a host of doctors, psychologists and other medical professionals, as well as well-known authors and mental health advocates.
Produced by Audio Always and Somethin’ Else, 60 Second Support has been funded through the special rolling coronavirus support round of the Audio Content Fund, a scheme to provide funding for the creation of original radio and audio production in the UK.
The fund is part of a pilot Contestable Fund, financed by the UK Government, to support the provision and plurality of public service content.
Jason Knauf, chief executive of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has led to fundamental and rapid changes to our daily lives, many of which will have both short and long-term implications on the nation’s mental health. Thousands of families are also coping with grief and trauma in incredibly difficult circumstances.
“The Royal Foundation is working to encourage all of us to speak about our mental health and to promote the importance of keeping mentally fit. That is why we are delighted to be working with Radiocentre on the 60 Second Support series, bringing these supportive moments to the airwaves and offering expert advice and ideas to anyone who may need them.”
Radiocentre CEO Siobhan Kenny added: “Whether they’re listening to hear the latest news, or be reassured by the familiar voices of their favourite presenters, we wanted to offer our listeners another way to help during these strange times. We hope they find 60 Second Support a useful source of self-care and comfort over the next few months.”
The first episode will explore how listeners can help their mind with a daily routine, future chapters will look at everything from breathing exercises and mindfulness, to supporting others from a distance and dealing with stress in isolation, as well as a whole host of other topics across the 20 broadcasts.
The 60 Second Support series is in addition to the radio industry’s annual Mental Health Minute, which will be returning in May.
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