There have been dozens of commercials by brands thanking frontline workers. Thank yous are always welcome, even if they all look the same, but this campaign by TBWA\Chiat\Day LA has a more practical job to do.
It’s not a thank you to US frontline workers. It’s an acknowledgement to US front line workers of the emotions that are amplified by their work and a notice for them that there is help available in dealing with them. The Frontline Workers Counseling Project, spearheaded by co-founders Elizabeth Rawson, MD and Michael Levin, PsyD, is a coalition of more than 450 licensed mental health professionals in the Bay Area who have joined forces to offer free counselling for frontline workers throughout the Covid-19 crisis.
“What started as a small group of like-minded therapists looking for a way to help has grown into a community of around 450 mental health professionals who have donated thousands of hours to help our frontline workers,” Rawson stated. “Each of us has a role to play in fighting the pandemic and in caring for each other during this extremely difficult time. Our frontline workers take care of us in many ways. We must each do our part to support and care for them.”
The photos in the film were taken by various photographers, including New York Times photojournalist-turned-E.M.T., Andrew Renneisen, who documented what his crew was seeing first-hand in Yonkers, New York; and Los Angeles-based photographer, Christopher Keller.
“The most important thing of all was to get the message to as many Bay Area frontline workers as possible so our approach was to design an outreach toolkit to give organisations simple, easy assets that they could implement within their communities. Everything from the logo, colours and font in the design system we developed create a space and feeling that is inviting to those who face extreme amounts of stress during these uncertain times,” said Doug Menezes, creative director, TBWA\Chiat\Day LA. “The film captures the real emotions that are part of frontline workers day to day and lets them know that now help is also part of it.”
Free mental health counselling is available by visiting www.fwcp.org. Users can sign up for an individual counselling session directly through the site. There is also a list of free support groups offered through the project.
“For those of us not working on the front line during this pandemic, it can be hard to imagine what that must feel like – to knowingly put yourself in harm’s way, day in and day out, whether by choice or by necessity,” stated Jeff O’Keefe, associate creative director, TBWA\Chiat\Day LA. “When my close friend in San Francisco told me about a project he and some other therapists had just launched to give free mental health counselling to frontline workers, I asked how we could use our creative powers to help. We started with a new name and a logo, and just kept going from there.”