McVitie’s is partnering with mental health charity Mind to launch a new campaign aimed at promoting positive mental health by encouraging people across the UK to get talking.

The ‘Let’s Talk’ partnership kicks off this month, with the unveiling of new consumer research from YouGov, commissioned by McVitie’s and Mind, that will reveal the nation’s talking habits and the importance of having meaningful conversations. As part of the partnership, McVitie’s will also support Mind with the opening of eight new Time to Change Hubs and training hundreds of new Mind champions in the UK.

Supported by in-store partnerships with leading retailers and 7,000 convenience and impulse outlets, the campaign will include offering shoppers the chance to gift almost five million complimentary packs of biscuits to loved-ones – with the goal of giving people an excuse to get together and get talking over a cup of tea and a biscuit. Attention-grabbing in-store POS will also be displayed to promote the message and remind shoppers why it’s good to talk.

A variety of events and activities are planned throughout May and the coming months, including on-ground activations around National Biscuit Day (29 May), prior to in-store launches with major retailers in June.

“Our partnership with Mind is the biggest initiative in our business right now and we want it to have as big of an impact as possible. So it’s fantastic to have the support of some of the UK’s biggest retailers to promote the simple, yet impactful message around the importance of talking for our mental wellbeing - and what better way to do that than over a biscuit and cuppa,” explains Nick Bunker, managing director at pladis UK&I, owner of McVitie’s.

McVitie’s partnership with Mind follows the success of its ‘Sweeter Together’ Masterbrand campaign, which explored the importance of real human connections to show how the simple, seemingly trivial, act of sharing a pack of biscuits plays an important role in bringing people together and aiding conversations.

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with McVitie’s to encourage the nation to get talking. You don’t have to be an expert to be there for your loved ones, simply making time for a chat over a cup of tea and a biscuit can go a long way.”

Pladis UK&I has also put mental health at the heart of its internal employee wellbeing programme. The company launched an internal mental health and wellbeing initiative named Positive Minds in 2017, to create an environment for its 4,600-strong workforce in the UK where colleagues feel supported and understood. The programme is supported through mental health awareness training for all line managers, over 100 mental health & wellbeing ambassadors across all sites, a 24/7 Employee Assistance Programme and Occupational Health support. The snacking company is also planning a series of events for employees during Mental Health Awareness Week (13-17 May).

“As a business, we have long acknowledged the importance of mental wellbeing, and by working in partnership with Mind will be able to extend that reach to the households up and down the UK,” added Bunker.

“We are invested in this partnership working with an incredibly inspiring team at Mind and look forward to announcing more initiatives throughout 2019 and beyond.”