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Jonny Wilkinson shines a light on mental health in new Vitality campaign ahead of the world cup

Jonny Wilkinson has been announced as the ambassador of a new mental health campaign being launched by Vitality today. The campaign which seeks to address the fine line between feeling fine and feeling overwhelmed, will see Jonny sharing some of his own personal challenges around mental health in a bid to encourage people to seek support when they need it.

The multi-channel campaign will run across national TV and national press and on YouTube, and have all been produced together with Creative Agency BBD Perfect Storm.

In recent weeks, the Rugby’s Players’ Union has called for urgent action to be taken to protect players’ mental wellbeing. Jonny’s new role comes at a particularly poignant time in the lead up to the Rugby World Cup in September - when players may be feeling under pressure.

The former England Rugby Union player said: “I'm delighted to be working with Vitality again on an issue that is so important. Mental health affects everyone, and I hope by talking about my own experiences and exploring one of the most challenging times in my life, I can help people reach out and seek support when they need it.”

Positive mental health is an essential part of our overall wellbeing. This year Vitality found, as part of Britain’s Healthiest Workplace (2018) that approximately 60% of UK employees are suffering from either work-related stress or depression. This was most prevalent in workers aged under 25 who were most likely to suffer with depression.

To tackle this growing issue, as well as working with Jonny Wilkinson on the new campaign launching today, VitalityHealth offers a unique and comprehensive approach to mental health cover for members.

Since offering mental health cover as part of its Core Cover product back in 2016, VitalityHealth has continued to develop the support and treatment options available to members offering a range of positive mental wellbeing tools and solutions for better mental wellbeing in people’s daily lives, as well as access to intensive support when needed.

Through Vitality members can access online support through Big White Wall , as well as cover for up to eight sessions of Talking Therapies (e.g. counselling or CBT through Vitality’s network), accessible through self-referral. They also offer access to, and reward members for using, meditation and mindfulness apps, through Vitality Healthy Mind, with over 500,000 mindfulness sessions logged by 30,000 Vitality members since August 2018. Comprehensive cover for out-patient, in-patient and day-patient treatment is also available to members where required and opted for.

Chrissy Fice, Brand Director at Vitality UK said: “We’re proud to be working with Jonny Wilkinson to promote the importance of mental well-being. Mental health is at the heart of our proposition, with a broad range of support, offered to Vitality members.

“We wanted to go further with this campaign though, timed to coincide with the Rugby World Cup. As a product of the deep relationship we have built with Jonny over a number of years, we have collaborated to amplify his honest and personal experience of mental health, and through the power of the Vitality brand can raise wider awareness of this critical issue.”

Seb Hill, Executive Creative Director for BBD Perfect Strom said: “This was an incredible opportunity to not only highlight the importance of mental health and well-being but offer a positive step forward. Jonny Wilkinson is a legend that people think is and was indestructible. This campaign shows that any of us can be affected by mental health regardless of perceptions. It demonstrates the fine line between feeling well and overwhelmed. Vitality is not just talking about it, they’re acknowledging that mental well-being should be as accessible as physical health.”