In 2017, a study showed that more than 50% of Singaporeans were unwilling to work or live with people with mental health conditions. Last year, McCann Worldgroup Singapore and NCSS Singapore (the National Council of Social Service) launched a campaign to encourage both Singaporeans and persons with mental health conditions to take a more proactive stance towards seeking help.
This year, McCann and NCSS launched an even broader campaign to battle against mental health stigma. The team partnered with the technology company AiChat to develop an AI helpbot named Belle that can be used to simplify any search for mental health help, support, and resources.
The McCann campaign addresses the real-life, day-to-day experience of how uninformed opinions and comments actually stigmatize and hurt those who are dealing with mental health issues. The work is designed to create more honest conversations about the topic and to encourage people to learn more. McCann and NCSS created a series of videos that feature persons in recovery, as well as their colleagues, caregivers and parents, talking honestly about the problems associated with mental health stigma. This includes the self-stigma imposed by persons with mental health conditions due to fear and shame of their conditions, as well as misconceptions by parents, caregivers, friends and colleagues in social situations with persons seeking recovery.