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Ones to Watch. Issue #1.

DMA Future Writers Lab Rebranding Mental Illness Brief

Posted by sophie.hockridge | 12 March

Our Strategy Manager Sophie, has recently taken part in the DMA's Future Writers Lab course lead by Debi Buster, CEO at Department of Change. As part of the course she was given a brief 'to rebrand mental illness as a normal part of living, talking and growing, for each of us and all of us.' We loved her response so much that we wanted to share it! A powerful example of storytelling to change the world.

The idea

"When we got the brief, I automatically thought of myself. I have always suffered with anxiety and worry. I started by thinking how it makes me feel and how the anxiousness manifests itself as a separate voice.

Thinking of this I remembered a day of worrying in work, a colleague noticed something was wrong and I opened up about how I was feeling. It turned out she also suffered with similar feelings.

Knowing that someone else shared the same thoughts was overwhelmingly reassuring. Knowing that it wasn’t just me that became drowned in these feelings. Others feel like this too. Others have their own battles with their voices.

So I have written a letter directly to that voice, recording the feelings for others to read. In the hope that they will relate to part of it and not feel alone.

This is just my letter, but the campaign would encourage others to share theirs to create a community. The more letters the better to demonstrate how common these feelings are and prove they are not on their own.

That little voice can often be unbearable. But at least we will be in it together."


"So why a letter, why not a poem to the little voice inside my head, or a rap, song or tweet.

Speaking with friends, family and colleagues who have experienced anxiety and worry many of them have been to therapy. In their first sessions they were asked to write a letter to their thoughts. This technique helps to accept these feelings. Putting them down on paper is the start of opening up.

After writing the letter, I shared it with this same group of people. The reaction was exactly what I had hoped with my letter sparking conversations about how they related to it. Inspiring them to share their stories."

Read the piece here; A letter to the little voice inside my head.

You can see all the amazing responses to the brief here; Mental Wealth.


TLC Marketing has a partnership with NABS, a charity to help improve the wellbeing of everyone in the advertising and media industry. They have a free of charge, 24 hour confidential care line available to any employees from TLC Marketing UK covering off a whole host of workplace and personal subjects including anxiety, stress, bereavement, bullying, harassment, contractual queries, discrimination, freelancing, grievance, disciplinary, ill health, maternity, paternity, money management and redundancy.

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