Ant and Dec launch mental health campaign in emotional plea amid coronavirus

Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly have launched a new mental wellness campaign amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Saturday Night Takeaway presenters have called on the nation to reach out to their loved ones as part of ITV's Britain Get Talking campaign.

In light of the numerous challenges posed by the Coronavirus crisis, ITV have one again joined forces with YoungMinds and Mind to urge the public to support one another and to keep talking.

Ant and Dec were sat alone in the Saturday Night Takeaway studio as they asked viewers to send in their messages of love and support to people they can't be with during the crisis.

Dec said: "Chances are you've just washed the show at home, a place we're all going to be spending a bit more time over the next few weeks."


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Ant continued: "More of us will be apart or by ourselves than ever before. It's going to be harder for some of us than it is for others.

Dec explained that it's never been more important to keep talking and that hearing someone's voice can reduce anxiety and distress.

Ant added: "So if there's someone you can't be with right now, pick up the phone and show them that you care. Reach out to the ones who need it most."

In the campaign, developed by Uncommon Creative Studio, viewers are also being encouraged to pick up the phone and share their messages of love and support across social media, using the hashtag #BritainGetTalking and tagging @itv.

A selection of these moving messages will then be played on ITV every day for the next month in an effort to keep spirits high across the country placing people amongst programming throughout the next few weeks in a first.

The campaign website, itv.com/BritainGetTalking also hosts information on sources of support for viewers who can’t rely on family and friends.

Heartfelt messages from famous faces including Susanna Reid, Davina McCall, Alex Beresford and soap stars Lisa Riley, Ali Mardell, Sam Aston, Ryan Prescott, Chris Bisson, Dolly Rose Campbell and Michelle Hardwick, will help launch the idea and play out across the network and on social media throughout the week

Clare Phillips, Director of Social Purpose for ITV said: "Physical isolation doesn’t have to mean social isolation. Britain has never needed to connect more, and through Britain Get Talking we want to use ITV to help people feel good, talk more and establish a feeling of unity through these challenging and unprecedented times.

"Hearing someone’s voice is a proven means of decreasing anxiety and stress so we want to encourage more talking and more connecting."

Emma Thomas, Chief Executive of YoungMinds said: "The next few weeks are going to be a challenging time for millions of people across the country, and it’s really important that we keep supporting each other and reaching out to those who might be struggling to cope.

"Even if we can’t see friends and family face to face, it makes a huge difference speaking over the phone, on video calls or through messaging – and it’s also crucial that we look out for neighbours who are on their own or living in difficult circumstances.

"We’re really pleased to be part of Britain Get Talking, encouraging people to keep connecting to each other and talking about how they’re feeling."

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: "We are currently facing the biggest challenge to the nation’s mental wellbeing for a very long time.

"Reaching out is going to be a critical part of getting through the coming weeks and will go a long way in helping keep our spirits up.

"We are pleased to be part of ITV’s campaign and encourage everyone to do what they can to connect with others and show extra support for those doing the difficult job of keeping us safe and well."

*Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway airs Saturdays on ITV at 7pm

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