A mental health campaign founded in Wexford is expanding nationwide and is calling for support from publicans around the country.
The Ask campaign was founded by former Wexford Mayor Frank Staples in 2016. The campaign is devised around a series of posters depicting a person taking off a mask, their “happy” face showing their true self underneath.
The first strand of this campaign encourages people in difficulty to take off their figurative ‘masks’ and ‘ask’ for help. Unlike many other campaigns, the second strand of the ‘ask’ campaign encourages everybody to be mindful of those around them that may be struggling with their mental wellbeing by asking, “are you ok?”.
The campaign’s tagline, “One conversation can save a life” highlights the importance and value of openness and communication with your family, friends and colleagues.
“Communicating feelings of depression and anxiety is paramount to addressing the issues but sometimes that first conversation needs to be started by someone other than the person suffering,” says Frank.
“The significance of a conversation to a person who is suffering with their mental wellbeing can be life changing, and the goal of this campaign is to get that conversation started, no matter how difficult that may be,” he adds.
The campaign’s message is being disseminated through awareness posters in local schools, businesses, sports club and community groups. A poster was sent out with every issue of the November/December VFI Voice and the Ask campaign request publicans put it up in a prominent place in their bar.
The ask team can be contacted by email at [email protected]