Create Not Hate, Shout 85258 launch ‘Let It Out’ campaign

shout - create not hate better out campaign

A new campaign called “Let It Out” has been launched by Create Not Hate and Shout 85258 to encourage young black males to take their mental health seriously, to open up and share their emotions.

The campaign, which comes in the wake of Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho being racially abused after the Euro 2020 final, isn’t just about missed penalties and it isn’t confined to elite footballers, the two groups said.

Young black men face racism every day, on top of the same stresses that everyone else faces, yet too often they feel obliged to put on a brave face.

Shout research

Shout’s research conducted by agency The Outsiders explored black youth culture and common barriers to mental health in the black community. 

They concluded that this is a group in which many boys and men are struggling with mental health but don’t feel like services like Shout are for them. 

Often there is a reluctance to open up about anxieties because of pressure to maintain a persona that’s strong and not overly emotional. 

Shout 85258 collaborated with Create Not Hate to create a campaign which addresses this.

The new campaign encourages young black males to use the Shout 85258 text service to seek help if they need it – however big or small their worries.

Moreover, the campaign explores the insight around masking emotions through two different executions. 

The first is ‘Hide Your Unhappy’, a campaign which uses a provocative headline to grab the attention of a new demographic for the Shout helpline, which until now has been used mostly by young white women. 

shout - create not hate better out campaign
Let It Out campaign: Reaching out to young black males on mental health.

The marketing campaign offers “Free Smile Masks” depicting the faces of smiling young men to help you “Hide Your Unhappy.” 

On the back of each mask is a message telling people that they don’t need to hide behind a smile, urging them to talk over their problems with Shout by texting LET IT OUT to 85258.

The second execution is a video featuring a conversation between two young men that captures the superficial chat and the unspoken feelings behind it. 

This is another means of conveying the ‘Let It Out’ message and how masking conversations can exacerbate negative emotions when feeling low. 

This will be shared across social media channels most popular with young people: Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube. Total Media have generously supported Create Not Hate again by securing free media.

Funded by Harry’s 

The campaign has been funded by Harry’s, a men’s care brand which has a social impact mission of giving to organisations that promote better mental health care for men. 

Globally, Harry’s has donated over $5M, working with 14 charities worldwide.

Clare Bolton, Director of Marketing and Communications at Shout 85258 said: “We know that young black boys and men are currently underrepresented in our service usage, but comprise a community that is affected worse than many by mental ill health. 

“We’re launching this campaign in order to reach a broader demographic and to let anyone who needs support know that Shout 85258 is there for them, 24/7. 

“The service is free and confidential and as conversations are via text message it’s a silent and anonymous way for people to reach out for help with issues such as anxiety, depression, suicide, loneliness, bullying, stress or self-harm.”

Trevor Robinson OBE, Founder of Create Not Hate said: “We’re trying to encourage young black boys and men not to hide behind a mask when it comes to sharing their emotions or when they’re feeling low. 

“We’re doing this through a controversial headline that’s purposely jarring, the juxtaposition of the headline and explanation highlights the importance of not masking your feelings. 

“I like to think if I’d seen something like this when I was younger and struggling with bouts of mild depression I might have reached out and asked for help.”

The masks were created in collaboration with diverse groups of young people during Create Not Hate workshops. 

Create Not Hate worked with students aged between 14-22 from the WAC Arts College and the Greenhouse Centre charity.

Mask distribution

Masks will be distributed in locations frequented by young people including gyms, game shops, cinemas, public transport and popular shops. 

On one side will be a smiling face, and on the other the campaign’s message along with the Shout 85258 details.

Robinson and the CNH team ran a number of sessions to put the campaign together, with help from industry mentors including: Matt Davis, Vikesh Amey Bhatt, Paul Bell, Matt Gooden, Antoinette de Lisser, Farhat Zaheer, Nell Bhadresha, Ed Morris, Chris Medford, Bethany Campbell-Jones and Ben Blackmore. 

The mentors helped young people develop the original idea into a full campaign. 

The models used as the faces of the campaign attended the workshops and were all paid for attending the photoshoot at Quiet Storm as part of their experience.

If you want to get involved or have any questions, please email

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