Breaking barriers and inspiring change

Increasing access to free NHS Talking Therapies amongst older people

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Integrated Care System (CPICS) wanted to increase access to free NHS Talking Therapies for mental health conditions among people aged 65+ in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire.

Their existing research showed NHS Talking Therapies were currently accessed by only 8% of 65+ adults compared to 22.5 per cent of 18 to 65 adults.

CPICS recognised the stigma associated with mental health among older adults and their reluctance to seek help.
The Feel Brighter campaign was created to increase the number of referrals for NHS support.

The campaign would promote positive conversations and engagement with mental health awareness key messaging through traditional and digital media.

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The vibrant and engaging messaging, coupled with our evidence-based strategic implementation across various media channels, yielded strong results.

The campaign reached a wide audience and helped to develop positive conversations and change attitudes to common mental health symptoms like loneliness, anxiety and low mood, which often get ignored.

The collaborative efforts have truly made a huge difference in breaking down barriers and encouraging older adults to seek the advice and support they need.

Dr Emma Tiffin, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG Adult Clinical Mental Health Lead

Often a listening ear is all it takes

Feel Brighter utilised vibrant colours, images, and conversational language to capture attention.

It aimed to educate the target audience about general symptoms of mental health issues and common triggers for early identification. The call to action directed people to the new Feel Brighter website and provided alternative methods of referral, such as a QR code and telephone number.

The campaign design and messaging were informed by research conducted by CPICS with a sample of 3,034 older adults in the UK. Workshops were also held with service users and providers to gather feedback.

Athene Communications collaborated with Speed Agency to create various design concepts, which were shared with stakeholders and individuals with lived experience of mental health issues for further input. Once the research was complete, the designs and tactical plan were finalised.

A brighter future for mental health awareness

We kicked off the Feel Brighter campaign in February 2023 and kept the momentum going for a solid two months.

First things first, we launched the Feel Brighter website (you can check it out at It became the go-to spot for all the details about our campaign. But that’s not all – we also made sure to get the attention of the regional media.

We reached out to GPs, healthcare professionals, charities, and care homes. We sent them information-packed emails, briefing them on the campaign and how they could lend their support. But we didn’t neglect the physical world either. We put up eye-catching posters and handed out flyers at NHS locations. We even made sure our frontline heroes got their hands on those leaflets.

Of course, we couldn’t forget about the power of social media. We ran an a advertising campaign that got people talking, clicking, and engaging. And guess what? It paid off! We reached a staggering 527,988 social media users over the two months.

Our website saw 19,159 hits during the campaign period. And we had 10,853 clicks from our social media ads. We exceeded our target of 8,000 clicks, proving that we had everyone’s attention.

Our average pay-per-click for the campaign was only £0.58. We beat the average and even came in lower than our initial objective. It’s safe to say we made the most out of every penny.

But let’s not forget the impact we made locally. We made sure our campaign posters and flyers were everywhere, including 120 GP surgeries, 153 pharmacies, and 22 Good Mood Cafes throughout Cambridgeshire. We shared our materials with 43 community networks, frontline health workers, and age-related charity groups.

  • 19159

    website hits

  • 10853

    social media clicks

  • 528000

    social media users reached

Work with an impact