After Life x CALM: Hope is Everything

Have you watched After Life on Netflix? One minute I’d be laughing out loud, the next bawling sad tears into a handful of tissues (yes, I’m a sensitive soul). Ricky Gervais certainly knows how to provide an emotional roller coaster of a ride. And that dog! The gorgeous Alsatian is now a TV star in her own right.

On the show, we follow Ricky Gervais – aka Tony – and the story of his depression and grief following the death of his wife Lisa. He spends a lot of time sat on a bench in his local churchyard, a place where he finds some solace, and where he opens up to his graveside confidante Anne (played by the brilliant Penelope Wilton).

The bench becomes the anchor in the show. The place we return to again and again.

So when Netflix donated benches to help people consider their mental health and encourage genuine human connection, it caught my eye.

Across the UK, 25 benches have been installed in partnership with the charity, CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). They are inscribed with ‘Hope is Everything’ and have a QR code that signposts emotional support resources.

The benches encourage people to find a way to talk, to chat through their emotions and feelings of grief. And they leave a lasting legacy for the much-loved show.

Why it works

1. Collaboration between Netflix’s AfterLife show x CALM. It’s a win-win for both organisations:

  • The benches provide a vehicle for CALM to raise awareness about mental health and the grieving process, plus leave a lasting legacy for the show;
  • CALM gets extra media coverage and reaches more people through the collaboration, while Netflix are seen to be doing good from a CSR standpoint.

2. The benches offer a different and tangible way to spark conversation about grieving and mental health – rather than CALM just saying: “We need to talk about grief….”.

3. Dotting benches in 25 locations across the UK, boosts the campaign from a regional and local perspective – therefore reaching more people.

After Life x CALM – find out more

Learn more about what After Life teaches us about grief, CALM’s and Netflix’s collaboration and where to find one of the 25 benches. (If like me you’re in Bristol, there’s a bench at Ashton Court.)

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