Singapore – To commemorate World Suicide Prevention Day, which is celebrated on 10 September, creative agency TBWA\Singapore has partnered with Samaritans of Singapore (SOS), the non-profit suicide prevention center, to launch a new product that breaks the silence around mental health.
Called ‘The Honest Cookie’, each cookie is baked with a different question inside to help initiate conversations around peoples’ feelings and how they are coping during difficult times, allowing people to come together and share what’s truly on their minds.
Through ‘The Honest Cookie’, SOS hopes to reach out to the more vulnerable groups such as the elderly, to help them re-connect with their loved ones and those who can support them in times of need.
The outreach campaign also includes a series of social media content and on-ground engagements that will run in September 2021.
Amid the pandemic, stressors such as drastic changes in lifestyle routines, social withdrawal, and financial worries, have created a sense of hopelessness. But many people find it difficult to have honest conversations and be open about their true feelings, keeping their worries and emotions to themselves, and stopping them from getting the help they need. According to SOS, in 2020, Singapore has reported 452 people who had died by suicide, with an increase in number observed across all age groups.
“We often do not realize how a simple act of concern can create a huge impact and potentially change someone’s life. We can start by showing our loved ones that we care by initiating a conversation and providing a listening ear,” said Gasper Tan, SOS’ chief executive officer.
Asheen Naidu, TBWA\Singapore’s global creative director, shared that they wanted to create a tool that guides people to have conversations about their mental health in a natural way and begin normalizing this important behavior.
“With mealtimes being the most common time for people to get together, we decided to develop a light snack that initiates heavy conversations – helping us shift from a culture of silence to one of openness and empathy,” said Naidu.
‘The Honest Cookie’ will be distributed across various community centers, social service centers, and corporate organizations, while customers can receive a free cookie when they make a purchase via foodpanda across all LiHO outlets.
For those who receive ‘The Honest Cookie’, they are also encouraged to share their experience of breaking the cookie with their loved ones via social media, to help create awareness of the #HonestCookieSG campaign.
They can simply post a public photo or video on their Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube account, sharing their experience of breaking open ‘The Honest Cookie’ and having an open conversation with someone else, as well as a simple description in the caption. They can also include the hashtag #HonestCookieSG and tag three friends.
Moreover, people can donate an honest cookie for just S$2 via giving.sg to fund an honest conversation.