Campaign Against Living Miserably releases hidden message in YouTuber video

Suicide-prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably has worked with Recipe to release a hidden-message YouTube video, tackling the stigma surrounding mental health.

The video stars YouTube gamer Daniel Middleton, better known as DanTDM, whose channel has 25.9 million subscribers.

At first, the film appears to be like any other gaming video, with DanTDM enthusiastically walking viewers through a dive into an alien ocean, in video game Subnautica. But when he tells the viewer to go back and hover their mouse over the video timeline, a hidden message is revealed.

The thumbnail appearing above the timeline shows how someone could be feeling while they portray an otherwise happy demeanor.

CALM encourages people to start talking about their mental health through this hidden message video, reflecting research conducted by the Centre for Mental Health.

The research predicts 1.5 million people under the age of 18 will need additional mental health support in England, as well as 84% of men in the UK admitting to bottling up their emotions, with half saying they do this regularly.

CALM’s new campaign follows its first-ever hidden-message video with rugby player Joe Marler, which was released in November 2020.

Simon Gunning, chief executive of CALM, said: “In 2021 alone, the CALM helpline had over a million minutes of potentially life-saving conversation, that’s answering a call for help every 59 seconds. With Dan’s help, we want to challenge the culture that prevents someone from opening up and seeking the help they need.

“This film highlights how things can easily get lost between the lines when it comes to talking about our feelings, and not to always take things at face value if you think someone close to you is feeling down.”

DanTDM explained that the past two years of the pandemic have been particularly tough for the younger generation. “That is why I wanted to get involved in this project and use my platform to help others who may be feeling low,” he said. “To try to help them understand that it’s OK to struggle.”

He added: “I want to see if the gaming community and beyond, can come together to encourage players and streamers to talk and support each other, because the more we open up and talk about the way we feel, the less of a stigma there is around it.”

Mike Plumridge, creative at Recipe, said: “DanTDM has given us a unique opportunity to get in early with young men and show them that it’s okay to not be okay, and that talking about their issues is healthy.”

Fellow creative at Recipe, Graeme Bowman, added: “It’s an honour, once again, to help this amazing charity get their message out there to those who need it.”


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