July 12, 2019

Unity drops new campaign featuring world’s first hybrid workout with fitness guru Richie Norton

Richie Norton, a one-time rugby player turned health and wellness guru, who describes himself as a “lifestyle architect and founder of the Strength Temple”, is the face of a mental-health campaign launched by Unity for AXA PPP Healthcare this week.

The #Headstrong campaign, devised by Unity, aims to achieve parity between mental and physical health.

It was launched recently to mark the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, and takes a ‘complete health’ approach to mental and physical fitness

The campaign aims to redress the balance between mental and physical health so they are treated as two halves of a whole.

Designed for a general audience, the campaign is using social and traditional media, owned channels for content and advice and earned channels for advocacy and messaging, with no paid support or advertising.

It will run throughout 2019, and possibly beyond, and is calling for workplaces to change the way they deal with mental health by placing it on a par with physical health, to help ensure that wellbeing strategies can be more effective as a result.

Gordon Henderson, marketing and innovation director at AXA PPP healthcare, said: “We are excited to launch Headstrong. We hope that the campaign will truly change the dialogue around mental health, taking us beyond destigmatisation to normalisation.”

Henderson said: “The only way to achieve this is viewing them as one. Physical and mental health contribute to your health and we are dedicated to everyone achieving the best health possible.”

Tracy Garrad, chief executive of AXA PPP Healthcare, described the campaign as “a statement of intent and the first step in an important direction”.

Tackling the taboo

This comes amid rising concern over the prevalence of mental illness, which is suffered by one in four adults each year, with one in two people having had a diagnosable mental-health condition at some point in their life and almost one in three having thought about self-harm and suicide.

Mental health remains a taboo subject for many people.

Dr Mark Winwood, director of psychological services at AXA PPP healthcare, commented: “Mental health is often excluded from regular conversation where physical health is a common topic.

“We talk about going to the gym, going for a run or attending an exercise class with pride, but as a society are reluctant to discuss how we keep our minds healthy, let alone how we approach mental illness.”