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Three Word Stories: A campaign to inspire mental strength under lockdown

Financial service provider Metropolitan, through it's new campaign called Three Word Stories, aims to assist those who feel they are carrying too much and need to let it out.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Coronavirus - and the nationwide lockdown aimed at curbing its spread - has not only brought financial strain to many households, it has also brought depression and anxiety to many more doorsteps across South Africa

Financial service provider Metropolitan, through it's new campaign called Three Word Stories, aims to assist those who feel they are carrying too much and need to let it out.

According to a survey on COVID-19 and mental health conducted by the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) in April, 65% of the 1,214 respondents admitted to feeling stressed as a result of South Africa’s lockdown, while more than half (55%) said that anxiety and panic were challenges they had personally experienced.

Sadag said: "The main challenges experienced during lockdown included anxiety and panic (55%), financial stress and pressure (46%), depression (40%), poor family relations (30%), feelings of suicide (12%), substance abuse (6%)."

With these results in mind, the Three Words Stories - launched this week - encourages South Africans to talk about their experiences during the months of June and July.

Each week, Metropolitan will use radio stations including Lesedi FM and Umhlobo Wenene FM, print and digital media to enable dialogue on a variety of issues, ranging from education to parenting under the new COVID-19 normal.

Metropolitan's head of marketing Llewellyn Allen said: “We are talking to those who feel that they are in some way responsible for others. With so much responsibility on their shoulders, they may feel incapable of vocalising their own fears and anxieties. We wanted to remind our audience that their voices are powerful, and that by sharing these stories, they will encourage others to do the same.”

The likes of Dr Musa Mthombeni and motivational speakers Malibonge Xaba, Hector Mathebe, Keabetswe Jan, Lehlohonolo Thoabala and Abongile Mangala will join various radio shows to facilitate these conversations.

These personalities will share the headline story for each week of the campaign, with listeners invited to weigh in on what the words mean to them and how they relate to their personal narratives.

‘Am I Okay?’ Is an example of a three word story used to spark a conversation with consumers. The motivator will then offer three concrete and practical steps to help consumers navigate their specific concerns.