FCB Aotearoa teamed up with Te Hiringa Hauora / The Health Promotion Agency to address the mental health of young Kiwis, with some surprising results.

It’s a confronting fact that Aotearoa has the highest youth suicide rate in the developed world. Young people in NZ are exhibiting high levels of mental distress, with a third of those young people not receiving support in the way they need.

TheLowdown.co.nz (Te Hiringa Hauroa The Health Promotion Agency’s youth mental health resource), set out to understand the most effective ways young Kiwis facing mental health struggles could be supported by their peers.

Traditionally, communication campaigns around this subject are targeted at the person suffering mental health issues, and not their support network. This approach could often be met with little or no engagement, as the sufferer is not inclined to take action; a major marker of deteriorating mental health: an unfortunate Catch-22.

But research suggested that, whilst young people desperately want to help their friends, they often don’t feel equipped to do so. They don’t realise support doesn’t need to be a full-on conversation and that just hanging out/being there is an extremely effective way to start helping.

Targeting the most vulnerable age range of 15 – 19, workshops with rangitahi were conducted which addressed this insight. The research findings were resoundingly confirmed and so ‘How To Do Nothing’ was created.

The campaign consists of five 60” online films, three 60” TVCs, Spotify and radio ads voiced by Kura star Dahnu Graham, Twitch partnerships, and a presence on Instagram and TikTok.