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BrewDog team up with Rizzlekicks' Jordan Stephens to launch SAD AF

A new charity beer from BrewDog has launched.

Published: January 12, 2022
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Rizzle Kicks’ Jordan Stephens, co-founder of mental health campaign #IAMWHOLE, has called on men to talk to friends and family about depression this January with the launch of a new alcohol-free, charity beer from BrewDog, SAD AF.

Mental health campaigner and popstar, Jordan Stephens, wants to raise awareness of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) urging men to open up about anxiety and depression.

The campaign launches today (12 January) with a hard-hitting celebrity video which stars Stephens reciting a self-penned poem ‘I’m Sad AF’.

The campaign film includes Danny Dyer, John Simm, Mark Williams, Mo Farah, Jason Fox, comedian Seann Walsh and drag queen Bimini Bon Boulash.

Youth Mental Health Ambassador and Love Island star Dr Alex George joins the star-studded line to remind men to take care of their mental wellbeing.

A new study of 1000 people experiencing mental health challenges released today reveals that 85 per cent believe January is the worst month for their mental health with 41 per cent the second week of the month as lowest point of the year.

With Covid-19, and social isolation still at large 64 per cent of sufferers say that January 2022 will hit harder on their mental health than in any previous years.

The #IAMWHOLE campaign seeks to help people ‘unbottle’ their feelings.

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The majority of sufferers agree it is beneficial to talk about their struggles to friends or family, with 48.3 per cent saying they are more likely to open up with a relaxed drink in a pub or café than over a phone call 23 per cent.

To help spark open conversation around SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and encourage men to open about their mental health, #IAMWHOLE has launched the world’s SADdest beer, the alcohol-free SAD AF with BrewDog.

Campaign partner BrewDog has developed the alcohol-free beer and will donate 100 per cent of the profits to #IAMWHOLE’s vital mental health research fund which will also support other good causes and charities (#IAMWHOLE has previously fund raised for CALM, The Mix, YMCA and over 50 grass roots projects).

SAD reportedly affects two million people in the UK and is recognised by the NHS as a legitimate cause of depression and anxiety but only 56 per cent of respondents were aware of this.

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The new campaign was inspired by #IAMWHOLE research that found that since the beginning of the pandemic, social interaction remains at an all-time low.

On average, sufferers reach out to loved ones six times a month, a decrease of 34 per cent from 2019.

Jordan Stephens, co-founder of IAMWHOLE, said: “January is an exceptionally difficult month for many mental health sufferers, including myself.

"Not only is the festive season long gone but it is dark, cold and more isolated, making way for seasonal affective disorder to lower moods.

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"At IAMWHOLE, we’re proud to launch SAD AF with BrewDog, with all profits donated to vital mental health research. Don’t suffer in silence, meet up with a friend for an alcohol-free beer in January. Cheers.”

Doctor Alex George, Youth Mental Health Ambassador, added: “Not many people know how serious seasonal affective disorder can be on your mental health, it’s not just the ‘winter blues’ and can lead to depression and anxiety.

"This January, the best way to look after your wellbeing is to talk to friends and family about how you are feeling. I urge everyone struggling to reach out.”

Over the course of the coming year, BrewDog has plans to use its 120 UK pubs as a forum for a programme of #IAMWHOLE events to raise awareness mental health and promote health lifestyle choices with its growing range of alcohol-free beers.

BrewDog SAD AF is 0.5% ABV and available now via the BrewDog shop and in BrewDog bars for £4.50 for a 4 pack and £12 for a 12 pack, until stocks last.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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