As part of mental health Awareness Week (MHAW), hundreds of stations across the UK joined together for the first time and simultaneously broadcast the same message. The message, called ‘Mental Health Minute’, was created in an attempt to raise awareness of mental health and encourage those who are facing difficulties, or feel they are struggling, to talk about them.

Who took part?

BBC radio stations, Q Radio, Mix 96, and Heat Radio are some of the radio stations which took part in this historic moment. They all shared the one-minute pre-recorded message, comprised of advice by The Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Dame Judi Dench, David Harewood, Lady Gaga, and Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, at 11.59 am today (May 15).

In the broadcast, The Duke of Cambridge highlighted the value of talking things over by saying, "When you talk about something, you have less reason to fear it." The message concluded with Dame Judi Dench saying, "How are you feeling today? It’s okay to say.’" This encourages those listening, to be honest about saying how they are feeling and not hide it.

The message can be listened to in full via this Tweet by Heads Together, shown below.

This morning’s radio broadcast was in support of Heads Together and eight other charity partners including CALM and Mind.

Heads Together is, according to the charity's website, a “Mental health initiative spearheaded by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, which combines a campaign to tackle stigma and change the conversation on mental health with fundraising for a series of innovative new mental health services.” In this work, the Royal Princes are seen to continue the compassionate, charitable legacy of their late mother, Princess Diana.

Impact on millions of people

In getting over 300 radio stations of different varieties to take part, the Mental Health Minute initiative will have been heard by millions of listeners of different demographics, interests, and musical taste. This is a really crucial point as mental illness can affect anyone, no matter what their background is.

It is also important to note that if any individuals never experience mental health difficulties themselves, they will most likely have people they know at some point or another who are affected - whether these are friends, family, or work colleagues.

It is great, therefore, that so many people will have had the opportunity to listen to the MHM. Initiatives like this are very much needed to help make people aware, or remind them, that we should look out for each other’s mental health and be accepting and helpful to those who confide in us.

This broadcast is just one of the many events taking place this week as part of the MHAW which runs from 14-20th May.

The week is organised by the Mental Health Foundation and is now in its 17th year. This year the theme of the awareness week is “Stress: Are we Coping”.