Blue Monday PR ‘stunt’ belittles mental health issues says Anxiety UK

January 21st, 2013

A leading charity that deals with anxiety and other mental health related issues, Anxiety UK, has criticised the ‘Blue Monday’ campaign and labelled it a PR ‘stunt’ that belittles mental health issues.

The third Monday in January was given the tag of ‘Blue Monday’ in 2005 as part of a publicity campaign by a travel company supported by the findings of a university academic.

However, Anxiety UK claim the campaign undermines the work of thousands of volunteers working with sufferers across the country and does nothing to reduce the stigma attached to such conditions.

The charity says it is a cheap and insensitive way of generating a few column inches of free publicity regardless of the accuracy or otherwise of their research.

The ‘stunt’ has also previously been condemned by Guardian columnist Ben Goldacre who said that the formula “”failed even to make mathematical sense on their own terms”.

Nicky Lidbetter, Anxiety UK’s Chief Executive, said: “It is disappointing to see anxiety and mental health related issues trivialised in this manner.

“We know anecdotally at Anxiety UK that January can be a particularly difficult time of year for many anxiety sufferers dealing with the financial stress post Christmas, the dark nights and often miserable winter weather in addition to a whole range of other factors that heighten their fears.

 

“However, each individual will be affected in different ways and present with their own unique symptoms that can be triggered by a variety of events all year round, not just in January.

“It also undermines the tremendous work done by so many charity volunteers and therapists, the generous donations of our supporters and the staff working hard to help and support those affected as this is far from a one day occurrence.”

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Contact

Terri Torevell or Dave Smithson | media@anxietyuk.org.uk / dave.smithson@anxietyuk.org.uk | 0794 7599 491 | www.anxietyuk.org.uk