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26 January 2024 / News

Putting mental health in high visibility


Heads-up: This article discusses mental health and suicide. While our intention is to raise awareness, we understand that this topic may be triggering or uncomfortable for some. If you think this may affect you, please skip this blog.

IronmongeryDirect wanted to devise a disruptive, eye-catching campaign that was impossible to miss.

The collaborative work, which earned Jaywing's team of creative, PR and media experts a finalist spot for Best PR Campaign at The Prolific North Awards and won the gold for Best Digital Marketing Campaign – B2B at the Northern Digital Awards, not only had to grab the attention of the UK public, but also had to shed light on a hugely important topic: mental health within the trades.



The Mural

On average, 687 UK tradespeople die by suicide every year. This equates to 13 a week, or almost two a day, on average. 

In 2021, tradespeople accounted for 15% of suicides across all industries, which is more than any other occupation. In fact, construction workers are nearly four times as likely to die by suicide than some other sectors. 

The scale of this tragic mental health issue needed to be visualised, and working with IronmongeryDirect, we did just that.

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, our data analysts, creatives and PR experts collaborated with the brands to strategise and execute a powerful and visually striking campaign: a giant piece of artwork made up of 687 high-vis vests, displayed on a construction site in the West End of London, to represent the annual number of trade suicides in the UK. One for each individual whose life was lost.

The initiative was not just about creating awareness; it aimed to give mental health the prominence it deserves by creating an unmissable call to action. The 687 high-vis vests, woven together into a 12-meter-tall garment by J&C Joel, represented a call for change. The campaign was complemented by the release of the third annual Mental Health in the Trades report, co-created by Jaywing and IronmongeryDirect. The report highlighted that a staggering 84% of UK tradespeople face mental health challenges due to work-related issues.

Confirming their commitment to the cause, IronmongeryDirect also donated over £5,500 to Mind, almost doubling the sum from 2022.

The Impact

The campaign, beyond being visually impactful, made significant strides in reaching a wide audience. It was covered by several major media outlets, both online and offline.

The campaign achieved remarkable metrics, being seen by 16 million people and reaching 49 million on social media. It also gained over 100,000 shares and increased site traffic by a staggering 553% year-on-year.

The coverage encompassed prominent news sites, trade publications, and influential marketing outlets, ultimately reaching a combined media reach of 305 million. This included a mention on The One Show, a prime-time BBC One program that regularly attracts over 2 million viewers.

We couldn't be prouder to have worked with IronmongeryDirect on an issue so close to our hearts.

The collaboration earned IronmongeryDirect and Jaywing:

  • A finalist spot in the Prolific North Marketing Awards - Best PR Campaign
  • A finalist spot in the Northern Digital Awards - Best Digital Marketing Campaign – B2B (ceremony in January 2024)

Thank you to everyone who has engaged in the conversation throughout this campaign, and ultimately helped us spread the word further. 

To access the full report and find out how you can support, visit IronmongeryDirect.

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