A creative social intervention company which helps young people and vulnerable adults move forward, Effervescent came to us looking for a writer to help scope out, create and write a very special NHS film campaign.
Targeted at the relatives, friends and colleagues of young adults experiencing the early stages of psychosis, the campaign needed to raise awareness of the symptoms and increase referrals to the NHS’s Early Intervention Unit, but that wasn’t all. As part of the project, Effervescent would be working with a group of affected young adults, using the creative process to help them make sense of their experiences of psychosis, redevelop their confidence and become re-accustomed to social interaction. We jumped at the chance.
To make sure the message was authentic, representative and powerful, we worked closely with a filmmaker, artistic director and design team to polish the concept, script and creative copy.
The challenge was to make the process meaningful for the participants while creating a campaign that had real impact. Identifying water and being submerged as a metaphor for psychosis, we encouraged them to find words to describe their experiences, introducing creative techniques to free up their thinking and writing. These pieces of creative writing formed the basis of the film concept and script, which we then developed, alongside the copy for the digital bed and promotional material that would accompany the film.
Filmed at the bottom of a five-metre dive pit and intensively workshopped to make sure the message was authentic, representative and powerful, we worked closely with a filmmaker, artistic director and design team to polish the concept, script and creative copy.
The final film was premiered in cinemas in August 2010 and the results were impressive. The project’s participants noted a marked shift in their attitude towards their psychosis and coping with it, while viewers of the film said it “opened their eyes” to what someone experiencing the early stages of psychosis might be going through. Since its premiere, the NHS has used How Long Would You Wait extensively to raise the profile of its Early Intervention Team and the service they can offer. And the results speak for themselves.