On Wednesday 28th January, students from Oxford University launched the It Gets Brighter campaign. The campaign invites people from around the world to end the silence about mental health by collecting short videos of hope from individuals who have experienced a mental health difficulty and those who support them.

Ms Emma Lawrance, It Gets Brighter Director and Australian graduate student at the University of Oxford said, “The It Gets Brighter website contains stories and short messages of hope from people who have experience with mental health issues and their supporters. Its target audience is young people who might be experiencing mental health issues, perhaps for the first time.”

“Young people often feel that they are by themselves in encountering mental health issues. That can lead to a perceived stigma of such experiences, and prevent them from accessing support. We hope our videos will help them recognise they are in fact not alone, and to feel hopeful and encouraged to seek appropriate support”, said Ms Lawrance.

Many public figures have supported the initiative including Stephen Fry (British comedian), Ruby Wax (British comedian), and Penny Wright (Australian politician). Geoff Gallop (former Australian politician), Jeff Kennett (former Australian politician) and Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury) have also provided videos.

You can contribute your video message of hope by visiting the It Gets Brighter website. Already there are over thirty videos on the website.

“We welcome anyone and everyone who wants to submit a video,” said Mr Chauvin. “You don’t have to have a personal experience of mental illness to support those among us that do. Telling others that you’re there to listen can be just as strong of a message. We need to have a culture of openness about mental health.”

Check out It Gets Brighter at www.itgetsbrighter.org