ITV use one-minute silence to start mental health conversation

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ITV interrupted Britain's Got Talent on Saturday night to launch a new campaign intended to encourage a conversation around mental health.

Presenters Ant and Dec introduced the campaign in the middle of the flagship show before beginning a one-minute silence during which they encouraged viewers to talk about their own mental health.

During the silence members of the Britain's Got Talent crew held up signs reading "Use our silence to talk to each other".

The next commercial break featured silent spots from Oral B, Gillette, Dunelm, Seat, and Network Rail.

It is the first part of ITV's new mental wellness push, delivered by Uncommon.

As well as TV activity, the campaign will run across radio, online, print, and social.

ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall said: "ITV brings people together for unmissable shared viewing moments. By disrupting one of our biggest shows this Saturday night, we want to reach a wide family audience and create the space to start a national conversation about mental wellness. At the heart of ITV’s social purpose strategy is this new five-year commitment to help make mental wellness a priority in all our lives.

"We've worked with our long-term strategic partner, Mind, as well as YoungMinds to develop 'Britain get talking'. The campaign highlights the importance of talking and listening in building mental wellness, ensuring we make looking after our mental health as much of a part of our daily lives and culture as our physical health."

Lucy Jameson, co-founder of Uncommon, added: "ITV is a brand that matters. It is a positive and powerful voice in British culture. We wanted to focus that power on mental health and, in particular, the mental well-being of our children. All the statistics say there’s a rising problem amongst today’s kids, with people spending more time than ever ‘together alone’. 

"We wanted to make something that went beyond advertising. Changing programming. Involving talent across the whole channel. And even pausing its most iconic shows to provoke important conversations across the nation – that’s what ‘More than TV’ is all about."