This campaign was started by Carlow Mental Health Association in 2015 as Hello Carlow How R U?. Inspired by Australia’s R U OK? Day (est. 2009), Carlow MHA developed a framework which is a five-step guide to saying HELLO and asking the question, ‘How are you?’. Having run the campaign locally, Carlow Mental Health Association were invited to share this mental health promotion campaign at the Mental Health Ireland Information Sharing and Networking Conference in 2018. Following this, Mayo Mental Health Fair piloted the campaign in Mayo in 2019 and consequently made a proposal to Mental Health Ireland that this should be a Nationally run campaign. Meath and Westmeath also piloted Hello How R U? campaigns in 2021.
In July 2021 Mental Health Ireland set up a coproduction group made up of MHI staff, people with lived experience from across Ireland, representatives of MHI Mental Health Associations and relevant organisations, to work to develop this campaign to bring it to the National stage. Coproduction is a strengths-based process that incorporates the end user as an equal participant from the very beginning and throughout the process of planning, development, delivery and evaluation. The group have worked tirelessly to develop a comprehensive suite of resources including a toolkit, website, and training supports. The group has also worked to secure additional funding, have created clear branding, a marketing plan and an evaluation framework.