Don’t Hide Your Unhappy campaign addresses young Black men’s mental health

A new visual campaign from Create Not Hate helps spread the word about mental health charity Shout 85258’s latest outreach, following research that Black boys and men face vastly disproportionate factors against their mental health.

30 July 2021
Reading Time
3 minute read

After acquiring decisive data from research group The Outsiders on the common barriers to mental health in the Black community and Black youth culture, mental health charity Shout 85258 has concluded that Black boys and men face vastly disproportionate factors against their mental health. Ongoing racism – such as seen nationwide towards England team football players Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho after the Euro 2020 final – continuously represses and chips away at the mental health of the Black community as a whole, but data from The Outsiders shows that boys and men in particular struggle to maintain a persona that is strong-willed and not overly emotional. In a bid to address this specific issue, Shout 85258 has collaborated with creative agency Quiet Storm’s Create Not Hate division, with backing from TotalMedia and Harry’s men care, to create a campaign that lends a helping hand to the demographic.

Don’t Hide Your Unhappy, the new campaign, is a bid to move young Black men towards a space where they can understand and deal with their mental health in ways that aren’t suppressive or ignored. By texting LET IT OUT to 85258, users are connected to the new Shout helpline which specifically helps the young Black male demographic. Until now, the service had mostly been used by young White women. The marketing campaign offers “free Smile Masks” which depict the faces of smiling young men to help “Hide Your Unhappy”. On the back of each mask is a message telling people that they don’t need to hide behind a smile, urging them to talk over their problems with Shout via its text helpline.

“We’re trying to encourage young black boys and men not to hide behind a mask when it comes to sharing their emotions or when they’re feeling low,” says Trevor Robinson OBE, founder of Create Not Hate. “I like to think if I’d seen something like this when I was younger and struggling with bouts of mild depression, I might have reached out and asked for help.”


Create Not Hate: Don’t Hide Your Unhappy (Copyright © Shout 85258 & Quiet Storm, 2021)

It’s the first step in Shout 85258’s bid to directly help those most marginalised in society. “We know that young black boys and men are currently underrepresented in our service usage, but comprise a community that is affected worse than many by mental ill-health,” says Clare Bolton, director of marketing and communications at Shout 85258. “We’re launching this campaign in order to reach a broader demographic... the service is free and confidential and as conversations are via text message it’s a silent and anonymous way for people to reach out for help with issues such as anxiety, depression, suicide, loneliness, bullying, stress or self-harm,” she adds.

A diverse group of young people have worked on the campaign with Create Not Hate, creating the masks and videos with the team. The young people comprised of students aged between 14-22 from the WAC Arts College and the Greenhouse Centre charity, two important institutions which help make art as accessible as possible, and were paid as part of their work experience. The masks themselves will be handed out in locations such as gyms, game shops, cinemas, public transport, and popular retail.

Trevor Robinson and the CNH crafted an impressive team effort for the campaign, drawing on numerous industry mentors to help with the campaign's message, including Matt Davis, Vikesh Amey Bhatt, Paul Bell, Matt Gooden, Antoinette de Lisser, Farhat Zaheer, Nell Bhadresha, Ed Morris, Chris Medford, Bethany Campbell-Jones and Ben Blackmore. This comes off the back of Create Not Hate’s wildly successful Check Your Prejudice campaign in 2020, which reached 500 million people with £0 spent on media and received national coverage and global reach. Since then, Create Not Hate has enjoyed numerous successes with brands and agencies reaching out who are keen to champion diversity in creative industries and workplaces. One of the young people who created and co-directed the films for the campaign is now working as a junior creative at Quiet Storm.

GalleryCreate Not Hate: Don’t Hide Your Unhappy (Copyright © Shout 85258 & Quiet Storm, 2021)

Hero Header

Create Not Hate: Don’t Hide Your Unhappy (Copyright © Shout 85258 & Quiet Storm, 2021)

Share Article

About the Author

Joey Levenson

Joey joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in May 2020 after graduating from King’s College, London. Previously, Joey worked as a writer for numerous fashion and art publications, such as HERO Magazine, Dazed, and Candy Transversal.

It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.