Leaflet, 'Bits + Bobs featuring Bob's bits. Mental Health'.
ID: An NHS mental health leaflet with a green background, featuring a drawing of a cartoon man. His head is hinged open like a lid, with a gap between his hair and his forehead. An arrow points to the gap in his head. He is smiling and his face is resting on his hand. The words ”Bits + Bobs featuring Bob’s bits” are written against the background. Bits + Bobs was an NHS men’s public health campaign, starting in the early 1990s, designed by Andrew Dineley. It focused on testicular cancer but after success, Andrew was able to expand the range of subjects to include key issues, such as mental health. This section of the campaign was called ‘Mind your head!’ and featured mascot ‘Bob’, as featured on this leaflet. Andrew remembers that at the time there was a real lack of health education materials, especially around men’s health and mental health. He wanted to make resources that were accessible, simple and relevant. Andrew looks back on the ‘Bits + Bobs’ mental health resources: “As someone who had personally had to deal with mental health issues in the early 1990s, I wanted to have resources that I personally could relate to. But not just me! Anyone who wanted simple information that could be used to destigmatise the issues. We had a lot of resources for women around all sorts of issues but men’s health sort of fell into the cracks. This was years before we had projects like CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) etc. If it isn’t available, do it yourself - this has always been part of my work ethic.” “I worked with a team of health promotion workers who had different specialities, but there wasn’t a men’s health person, so I worked on the original ideas myself and pitched it to the department management, outlining why I thought it was worth doing. I got the go-ahead straight away and it took off quickly after that.” “Bits + Bobs was a bit of an experiment and a bit risqué at the time too, but I wanted to take a risk to get it talked about. Some of my earlier AIDS materials had been considered controversial by some, and we survived that, so I wanted to push the envelope a bit.”