Twitch, Ad Council and Others Partner to Bring Suicide Awareness Livestreams

The Ad Council is partnering with game streaming platform Twitch to offer livestreams in support of the Seize the Awkward campaign, which encourages young people to speak out about mental health.

The Seize the Awkward campaign encourages teens and young adults to have difficult conversations about mental health by prompting them to reach out to friends or peers who may be at risk for suicide.

From Sept. 18 to 20, Twitch streamers Achievement Hunter, MissKyliee, Natalie “ZombiUnicorn” Casanova,” negaoryx, OMGitsfirefoxx, schviftyFive, and others will hold charity fundraising streams on their Twitch channels and will encourage donations for the Seize the Awkward campaign.

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Square Enix will also host a livestream of “Life is Strange: Before the Storm” featuring voice actors Rhianna DeVries (Chloe), Kylie Brown (Rachel), and Katy Benz (Steph) from the game on the stream. The episodic game deals with adolescent friendships, mental health, and social issues, making it an ideal title to stream for the conversations taking place around the campaign.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and as the common start of the back to school season it is notably “characterized by transition as young adults return to school or depart for college for the first time, making the Seize the Awkward message of checking in with a friend especially timely and relevant,” according to the press release.

Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council commented on the Twitch partnership as well as the other Seize the Awkward campaign movements with other digital partners like Reddit, Shine, and Tumblr.

“This extraordinary group of leading digital, social and experiential partners will give us the opportunity to reach teens and young adults where they are at a time when they may need to hear this critical message most,” said Sherman. “Each of our September activations offers a unique opportunity to authentically connect with young adults and provide the necessary resources to start important and potentially life-saving conversations.”

 

New Emojis Combat Bullying.

The worse part about using a BlackBerry has to be the fact that I’m limited when it comes to emojis – IJS.

While everyone is excited for the possibilities of being able to express themselves using slices of bacon, eggplants and middle fingers, I’m limited to smiley faces. So, as you can imagine, with Apple’s latest release, an emoji for good, I’m pissed!

‎Recently, Apple released an emoji which could make a huge difference in the lives of bullied children and teens. The symbol is meant to help bystanders and victims, via social social media and text message, call out cruel comments and harassment, and support those who are bullied.

While the emoji will live on the iPhone keyboard, it’s the centerpiece of an anti-bullying initiative called I Am A Witness and launched by the Ad Council.

I Am A Witness was created in partnership with Johnson & Johnson, Apple, Google, Facebook, Adobe and Twitter. Some of these tech companies have been criticized for not providing their users with the means to adequately stop or report online harassment. This campaign offers another approach to the problem, something both companies and users can get behind.

The Ad Council tested the emoji with teens this year, hoping it might empower them to confront bullying behavior and comfort victims.

This is pretty damn awesome. Maybe I’ll get rid of my BlackBerry. For now, check out the spots which the Ad Council put out for the emoji launch.