Calm Collective

"Deal with it" - new campaign to break stigma around men’s mental health

Agencies: BBH Singapore Freeflow

BBH Singapore and Calm Collective "Deal with It" video


Campaign launched on International Men’s Day in partnership with Calm Collective and Freeflow Productions

BBH Singapore has launched an International Men’s Day campaign that aims to normalise seeking help for men in Singapore facing mental health challenges by breaking the stigma around it.

Launched in partnership with Calm Collective, an organisation on a mission to break the stigma and to normalise mental health conversations in Asia, as well as Freeflow Productions, an award-winning film production house based in Singapore, the campaign is targeted at men and families with men who might be struggling with mental health issues or illnesses.

Using the tagline “Deal with it”, the campaign is led by a film and supported by social media and PR activation. The creative idea was born out of the insight that outdated societal pressures in Singapore expect men to be “emotionally strong” forcing them to internalise their mental health struggles. As a result, men are reluctant to seek help because they’ve learnt to deal with it.

The insight was derived from a survey (Poll Fish) conducted by BBH Singapore that has confirmed that 7 in 10 in Singapore believe that there is an expectation for men to be more emotionally resilient than women. The survey, which is aimed at understanding barriers around men seeking help for mental health issues, polled 1,000 respondents - 542 men and 458 women - between the ages 16 to 54 and above.

A key finding was that the top reason why men in Singapore will not seek help for their mental health is because they’ve “learnt to deal with it” (53.2%). This attitude is most visible amongst the younger age group of 16-24 where 73.3% cite “learn to deal with it” as their reason for not wanting to seek help. This stands in stark contrast to the top reason why women in Singapore will not seek help for their mental health which is “getting help is too costly” (59.5%).

Commenting on the campaign, Gaston Soto, Group Creative Director, BBH Singapore said: “It has been well documented globally and in Singapore that more men die by suicide than women. Hence, we wanted to find out what barriers exist within Singapore that might be a contributing factor to this outcome. The survey findings have clearly shown that men bottle up their emotions due to negative attitudes and stereotypes associated with mental health illnesses. Through this campaign we want to spread an all-important message that men do not need to deal with their challenges on their own. There should be no shame in seeking help.”

The creative idea of the campaign film revolves around questioning the effectiveness of self-talk/self-therapy. The film features a young man as he engages in conversation with his therapist behind the camera. But as the dialogue continues, we begin to realise the reality of his situation - that it was all just his self-talk.

Sabrin Ooi, Founder of Calm Collective, added: “We are happy to have partnered with BBH on this relevant and timely campaign. In Asian society, we are culturally and socially conditioned to place unrealistic expectations on men, being emotionally resilient is one of them. This needs to stop - men need to stop questioning themselves and bottling up their challenges if they are struggling mentally, else it will be too late.”

This professional campaign titled '"Deal with it" - new campaign to break stigma around men’s mental health' was published in Singapore in November, 2022. It was created for the brand: Calm Collective, by ad agencies: BBH Singapore and Freeflow. This Digital, Film, and Integrated media campaign is related to the Public Interest, NGO industry and contains 1 media asset. It was submitted about 1 year ago.


Agency: BBH Singapore
Chief Creative Officer: Sascha Kuntze
Group Creative Director: Gaston Soto
Associate Creative Director: Adeline Siow
Associate Creative Director: Kenneth Foo
Art Director: Sixin Wu
Copywriter: Enkainia Lee
Business Director: Manavi Sharma
Senior Account Executive: Angel Fadila
Strategy Director: Amanda Lim
Strategist: Cheryl Koh

Production Partner: Freeflow Productions
Director: Roslee Yusof
Executive Producer: Jill Soong
Audio Production Partner: Fuse Adventures in Audio


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