AXA teams up with Liverpool FC to launch ‘Sharing Makes Us Stronger’ mental resilience campaign

1 October 2019

Posted in Partnerships

  • AXA launches Sharing Makes Us Stronger national TV campaign with Liverpool FC Women’s Sophie Bradley-Auckland, Niamh Charles and Becky Jane.
  • Staff from AXA trained volunteers from the LFC Foundation, the official charity of Liverpool FC, to become Youth Mental Health First Aid Champions and raise awareness of common signs of psychological distress.
  • Acronym W-A-T-C-H published to help people identify signs that a child or someone they know may need support.

AXA has launched a new national campaign with Liverpool FC, focussing on building mental resilience and how Sharing Makes Us Stronger.

In the first UK campaign since the insurer became a principal partner of the club, AXA and Liverpool FC are promoting the power of sharing and support from the people around us.

Sophie Bradley-Auckland, Captain of Liverpool FC Women, will appear in the campaign which runs across TV, cinema, video-on-demand and press. An accompanying short film with teammates Niamh Charles and Becky Jane sees Bradley-Auckland discuss her previous struggles with injuries as well as self-doubt, and highlights how sharing these struggles enabled her to improve her mental and physical resilience.

The campaign is based on the real stories of four people, including Bradley-Auckland, who experienced difficulties with their mental health and the relief that came from sharing these feelings with friends and loved ones. While the advert features actors and Bradley-Auckland, three additional content films reveal the lived experiences of those that inspired the campaign, with one, Aiysha Humphreys, creating the spoken word poem featuring in the ad.

As part of its partnership with the club, AXA also arranged for staff from the LFC Foundation, the official charity of Liverpool Football Club dedicated to creating life changing opportunities for children and young people in the area, to take part in a training course to become Youth Mental Health First Aid Champions. Throughout the course, staff discussed topics including stigma and discrimination, the Mental Health First Aid action plan as well as common mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

With one in eight 5 to 19 year olds reported to have a mental health disorder1, the training aims to help the LFC Foundation staff feel better equipped to talk about mental health issues that might arise from the young people they engage with across the 24 different programmes they deliver directly in schools and communities.  

“Supporting staff from the LFC Foundation to become more aware of some of the subtle changes they may notice in young people – which could indicate that someone is struggling with their mental health or wellbeing – can give them confidence to proactively intervene. Our campaign promotes the benefits of sharing fears or doubts to help build mental resilience within ourselves and among others, while our work with the LFC Foundation shows how staff can approach conversations with young people who may need help and suggestions of where to guide them for further support. While it’s a small step, having a better understanding can help encourage people to share their own stories and show that they can be there for those who want to reach out.”

— Dr Mark Winwood, Director of Psychological Services, AXA PPP healthcare

“We are thankful to AXA for supporting our work and the development of our team. The training provided helps to improve our offer to children and young people, now and in the future, as the impact and reach of the LFC Foundation continues to grow. Last season we engaged 28,630 children and young people through our programmes. We specifically focus our work in areas of high need and high deprivation across the Liverpool city region, where children and adults have a higher likelihood of developing and experiencing mental health problems2. This training further supports our aim to deliver sustainable and long-term change for communities.”

— Matt Parish, Director LFC Foundation

Emerging from the collaboration is an acronym designed to help members of the public identify key signs that a child or someone they know may need help or guidance:

  • W-ITHDRAWN – Becoming noticeably quieter, less confident, subdued and distant from family, friends and teammates.
  • A-NXIETY – Appearing ‘negative’ and depressed and/or experiencing worries and fears that stop them from carrying out daily tasks.
  • T-IREDNESS – Poor sleeping patterns can cause tiredness, irritability and lethargy, and may suggest something is on their mind.
  • C-HANGE – Any change in social behaviour, action or loss of interest in usually enjoyable activities may suggest that something’s ‘not right’.
  • H-ARM – Evidence of physical injuries, risky behaviour, alcohol/drug misuse, suicidal thoughts or other actions that could cause physical harm may indicate distress.

1 NHS Digital: Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2017

2 Mental Health Foundation: Mental health statistics: poverty