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Daily’s ‘bad news’ ban prompts suicide prevention service membership boost

Mental health groups received a surge in membership enquiries thanks to a regional daily’s campaign.

HTFP reported last week how the Greenock Telegraph had revived a 24-hour ban on “bad news” being posted on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms as part of the newspaper’s ‘Time to Talk’ bid to promote awareness of positive mental health.

Following Thursday’s campaign, suicide prevention service Man On Inverclyde told the Telegraph it had recorded an increase in membership enquiries as a result.

Digital audience and content editor Amy Shearer, who last year revealed her own mental health story, also appeared on BBC Radio Scotland to promote the campaign.

How the campaign was promoted on the Telegraph's front page

How the campaign was promoted on the Telegraph’s front page

Telegraph Editor Brian Hossack told HTFP: “The initiative was such a success last year that we were always going to do it again.

“If anything, the reaction this time around was even greater, with charities all coming back to us and saying it had encouraged many people who otherwise would have to seek help and support.

“Used in this way, in a digital age, social media can be such a force for positive change. It engages with a demographic that perhaps traditional newspapers can’t and sometimes it is easy to forget the actual reach it has.

“Taking a day to share only good news is a welcome break for people from the traditional news that we can’t ignore, and the feedback we have had certainly supports that.

“Amy was very brave to share her own story about her personal mental health battle and I think that makes what we have done all the more relatable for our audience. We really care because one of our own newsroom team has gone through the same struggle.

“She did a fantastic job again on the day and it was great to see so many famous faces with an affinity to Inverclyde taking part.”