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Aimed at young Black men, a new campaign for charity Shout 85258 encourages them to take their mental health seriously. With posters and actual masks featuring smiling Black faces, the message is 'Don't Hide Your Unhappy.'
Shout is a text-based mental health helpline that's available 24/7, free of charge to everyone in the UK, and won't show up on their phone bill. A rundown of the charity's first 500,000 conversations reported that 88.9% of texters were white, and 79% identified as female.
Meanwhile, young Black men and boys are more likely than any other group in the UK to experience mental ill health. To reach them, Shout worked with Quiet Storm and Create Not Hate, an organization dedicated to getting underrepresented young people into creative industries. The premise? Masking your feelings can be damaging, so reach out friends or send a text to Shout.
In a world where Black men are criminalized, where they face systemic racism and the pain of both overt racism and constant microagressions, where they're lauded for their athletic talent until their team loses, it's no wonder that they're at higher risk of suffering from mental health issues. Work to be done not just by Shout and other mental health providers, but by every majority-white organization. (And that includes us here at TrendWatching.)
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