Against Living Miserably aims to help 1 million young people to stay on top of their mental wellbeing.

AJ Odudu, Dr Alex George and Laura Whitmore, star in the launch ads for the specially commissioned ITV2 and Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) #WhatGetsYouThrough campaign, offering tips on how to look after your mental wellbeing when times are tough.

The ads, which launched on 31st March on ITV2, are the first on-air activity for the partnership between ITV2 and suicide prevention charity CALM. The partnership aims to help 1 million young people take action to build their mental wellbeing and feel better able to cope with life’s ups and downs.

Whether it’s ringing a mate or running a mile, finding what works for us to help get through tough situations is a vital part of mental wellbeing. But only two-fifths of 16-34 year olds surveyed said they know what helps them get through a low mood. The research comes at a time when CALM’s life-saving services continue to be needed more than ever. Since lockdown the CALM website has seen an increase of over 100% in young people (18-24 year olds) seeking help and advice on topics such as isolation, stress, anxiety, health worries, and relationship concerns.

Research commissioned by ITV2 and CALM found that eight in ten 16-24 year olds worry about their mental health, with half of that number saying that mental health has affected their relationships during the pandemic. Additional findings showed how a quarter of that age group struggle to see hope for the future, with over half believing their mental health will be affected for a prolonged period of time after the pandemic is over.

With a core audience of viewers aged between 16-34 year olds, ITV2 is working with CALM to ensure that younger people feel equipped to think about what helps them get through tough times, and make time for it.

The partnership follows the award-winning Britain Get Talking campaign, which first launched in October 2019 and saw 6.4 million people reaching out to friends and family as a result of the 2020 lockdown campaign. The partnership will be followed by further collaborations between the channel and CALM later in the year to support young people in managing their mental health.

Paul Mortimer, Head of Digital Channels & Acquisitions for ITV, said: “Young people have had an incredibly tough year, and ITV2’s unique, irreverent tone and talent, together with CALM’s expertise, give us a platform to help get the vital message out there that it’s important to take time to focus on mental wellbeing and work out what gets you through.”

Simon Gunning, CEO of CALM said: “The research makes for sober reading. It’s no secret that the pandemic has put a huge strain on many young people who were already struggling with their mental health, because of traumatic experiences, social isolation, a loss of routine and a breakdown in formal and informal support. That’s why our landmark partnership with ITV2 in supporting 1 million people to take action and support their mental health is so important.

Mental wellbeing doesn’t exist in a vacuum. By being in those areas where mental health issues often go unrecognised or ignored, we open up the conversation to everyone, we move it forward, tackle taboos and, crucially, stop people from reaching crisis point. By working together opening the door to millions more young people via ITV2, we can play an important role in challenging the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide.


Further information will be made available via a specially created website at www.itv.com/itv2calm