What is the 'Hello, How Are You' Campaign?

Hello, How Are You? is a campaign about connection and engaging in open conversations about mental health. The campaign asks individuals, communities, workplaces, friends & family to say Hello and ask the question ‘How Are You?’ in a meaningful way. Asking this small question and having one conversation can make a real difference in someone’s life. Creating, maintaining and staying connected with others helps tackle loneliness, creates a sense of belonging and purpose and builds relationships.

You don’t need to be an expert to have a meaningful conversation. By using the HELLO Steps you can feel supported in asking the question. Let’s make saying Hello and asking How Are You? an everyday question that keeps us connected.

H is for Hello, E is for Engage, L is for Listen, L is for Learn, O is for Options.

Why are Hello, How Are You and Mental Health Ireland a good fit?

Mental Health Ireland are leaders in mental health promotion in Ireland. Mental Health Promotion is a priority area of our Strategy 2022-2024, Mental Health For All: Hope, Strength & Action, which states that we build mental health awareness and understanding through campaigns, training programmes, resources and information. Hello, How Are You? is a powerful mental health promotion campaign which supports people to confidently connect with others and to have open conversations about mental health and wellbeing. The campaign also supports empowerment through the provision of reliable information on mental health support services and signposting which can encourage early help-seeking.
Find out more about Mental Health Ireland

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.

Impact & Benefits Of Saying Hello, How Are You?

Mental Health Ireland anticipates this campaign:
  • Improving awareness & understanding of mental health
  • Normalising and increasing confidence in starting conversations about mental health
  • Reducing loneliness and enhancing connections for people
  • Expanding signposting to services
  • Creating a greater sense of community
  • Leading to earlier help-seeking / help-finding
Black man with beard and black jeans and a cream jumper holding a pink sign that has H on it. Man is smiling and has a beard.
White woman with wine coloured top and blue jeans holding an organge sign with E on it. Woman is smiling and has two tone hair, brown and blonde.