SINGAPORE — In commemoration of World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September 2021, Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) has developed a new product, ‘The Honest Cookie’, designed to encourage everyone to have open and honest conversations with family and friends of all generations, and break the silence around mental health.
Each Honest Cookie is baked with a different question inside to help initiate conversations around peoples’ feelings and how they are coping during difficult times. Simple, yet meaningful – it allows people to come together and share what’s truly on their minds.
The outreach campaign, created by TBWA\Singapore, also comprises a series of social media content as well as on-ground engagements that will run throughout September.
During the pandemic, stressors such as drastic change 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.
In 2020, Singapore reported that 452 people had died by suicide, with the increase in number observed across all age groups.
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.
Gasper Tan, chief executive of SOS commented, “In most situations, family is the first line of support for many facing a crisis. We often do not realise 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.”
“We wanted to create a tool that guides people to have conversations about their mental health in a natural way, and begin normalising this important behaviour,” said Asheen Naidu, global creative director at TBWA\Singapore. “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.”
The cookies will be distributed across various community centres, social service centres as well as corporate organizations. SOS has also partnered with foodpanda to distribute The Honest Cookies island-wide via one of their most popular partners – LiHO. Customers can receive a free cookie when they make a purchase via foodpanda across all LiHO outlets.
Those who receive The Honest Cookie are encouraged to share their experience of breaking the cookie with their loved ones via social media. To help create awareness of the #HonestCookieSG campaign, you can follow these simple steps:
Post a photo/video on your Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube account, sharing your experience of breaking open The Honest Cookie and having an open conversation with someone else.
Tell us more about who he/she is and what he/she means to you in the caption.
Include the hashtag #HonestCookieSG and tag three other friends to do the same.
Remember to set your post / profile to public so more people can benefit from your sharing!
People can also donate an honest cookie for just $2 via giving.sg to fund an honest conversation today.
Visit the campaign website here: www.sos.org.sg/campaign/world-suicide-prevention-day-2021