Finland leads the suicide statistics in Europe with over 800 suicides committed each year. The number of suicides has taken an upward turn and among the young the suicide statistics are particularly grim. However, the issue is seldom talked about and many are left to deal with their thoughts alone.
#mitäkuuluu is a campaign designed and delivered by Manifesto and creative agency Bob the Robot for MIELI Mental Health Finland to support its suicide prevention work. The goal of the #mitäkuuluu (How are you?) campaign was to encourage Finns to look out for each other by simply asking “How are you?” and to direct as many people in need as possible to call the free crisis hotline.
The main event of the #mitäkuuluu campaign coincided with World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September 2019.
Strategic approach brought record-breaking media presence
Manifesto’s role in the campaign was to drive earned media. To support the campaign message, Manifesto conducted a survey that revealed one out of two Finns knows somebody who has committed or attempted suicide. The survey also revealed that one out of three young people has considered taking their own life.
The results were published at a press event organized by Manifesto on behalf of MIELI, the Finnish Student Health Service and student mental health organization Nyyti. The World Suicide Prevention Day and the #mitäkuuluu campaign were publicized in the press event. Prior the event, Manifesto had shared exclusive interviews with suicide survivors with key media.
The campaign message, survey results and life-affirming survivor stories were widely featured in all main media channels in Finland. During the campaign week, 9–15 September 2019, a total 36 articles and news were published in women’s magazines and news outlets throughout the country. The total number of readers reached was approximately 50.9 million, which is nearly ten times the entire population of Finland.
Crisis calls doubled thanks to the campaign
The #mitäkuuluu campaign became a phenomenon. Finns actively shared the campaign message and their own survival experiences on social media. The campaign was also embraced by the public sector, such as the police.
More important than the media statistics, however, is the actual impact that the campaign had on suicide prevention. On World Suicide Prevention Day, 10 September, the Crisis hotline responded to 20 individuals in distress, when on a normal day the number of callers is only nine on average. Each of the 20 callers calmed down during the phone call and said they were not going to go through with suicide.
Awarded in several communications and marketing competitions
The Suicide Prevention Campaign #mitäkuuluu was awarded in February 2020 with a golden Effie Award in the prestigious Products and Services category. In addition, the campaign won in October 2020 the Pro bono category in the prestigious Finnish Comms Awards competition. Both competitions are organized by The Finnish Association of Marketing, Technology and Creativity, MTL.
The #mitäkuuluu campaign was also short listed in the Not-For-Profit Organizations category in the international 2020 SABRE Awards EMEA competition.
The campaign was delivered as a collaboration of Manifesto, Bob the Robot Engage, Bob the Robot Pictures and Veikko Kähkönen Photography.