Stephen Fry voices new Aardman animation on the shocking state of mental health worldwide

Stephen Fry voices new Aardman animation on the shocking state of mental health worldwide


A new short film created by four-time Academy Award®-winning studio Aardman and Cannes Lions Healthcare agency of the year, the Havas Lynx Group was premiered last night by United for Global Mental Health (20:00 BST, Tuesday 9 October 2018, Tate Modern, London).

Narrated by Stephen Fry the ‘new mindset’ animation underlines how mental ill health is a global issue that affects everyone, everywhere, and was created to help the global mental health community to win support to change how mental health is funded and treated.

Before its online release for World Mental Health Day (Wednesday 10 October), with hashtag #TimetoAct, the film was shown at the first Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit to politicians, experts, campaigners and people with personal experiences of mental ill health.

Hard-hitting facts used in the ‘new mindset’ animation are drawn from the work of The Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development. Its new report, published on World Mental Health Day, sets out how good mental health can be achieved across the world, based on the latest ideas and innovations.

Worldwide one in four people will have a mental health condition at some point in their life, and every 40 seconds someone dies by suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds worldwide, and mental ill health currently costs the world 2.5 trillion dollars per year.

Around the world two in three people won’t get any treatment for their mental ill health, despite mental health conditions being preventable or treatable. Because of a lack of funding, as well as stigma and discrimination around mental health conditions globally, most of the two billion people who will have a mental health issue in their lifetimes will have no support.

United for Global Mental Health founder, Elisha London, said: “Improving mental health is a global challenge that needs global action. The first step is bringing together the global mental health community with governments, businesses and funders to increase investment in mental health. We know the causes and we know what works. It is time to act. Together we need to start a mental health revolution, so everyone everywhere has someone to turn to.”

Aardman director, Danny Capozzi, said: “We’ve taken the thinking of the world’s best minds on mental health and turned it into a film to help the global mental health community win support for change to how mental health is funded and treated.

“We set the film in an attic, as a metaphor for how mental health is stigmatised, underfunded, hidden away in the recesses of global health budget. And then – click- we shine much needed light on the subject. We hope the film can help to bring mental health out of the darkness and into the light.

“This film was a real labour of love with a lot of care and attention to detail. Working with miniatures like the hugging wooden figures, the untangling worry dolls and the authentic wooden mannequin hand were a real challenge, but the fast-paced hard work resulted in a wonderfully rich, and heart-warming short film.”

The film, created by Aardman, is a combination of live action, which was filmed in a beautiful antiques shop in Bristol called Indira Rose. The trinket head was then bespoke made in CGI to look exactly like a vintage printers block tray. The trinkets and props inside were carefully handcrafted, then stop-motion animated in the Aardman Studio by the director himself. All the components were cleverly composited together to appear as if the whole trinket head was truly coming to life inside an attic.

Havas Lynx Group, Cannes Lions Healthcare agency of the year, wrote the script and supported on creative delivery. Chief Creative Officer, Tom Richards, said; “It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to work on a project that can change lives, potentially millions of lives for the better. It’s been an absolute pleasure collaborating with Aardman, and the United for Mental Health team, and we’re immensely proud that we’ve played a small part in the global initiative”.