Netflix After Life bench in Rubery praised for bringing attention to mental health

The bench in Cofton Park is inspired by Ricky Gervais show
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A ‘Hope is Everything’ bench inspired by the Netflix hit show After Life has been praised by a local councillor after being installed in a Rubery park.

The bench, installed at Cofton Park, is one of 25 across the country intended to get people to talk about their mental health, with Netflix teaming up with Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) for the campaign.

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The idea for the benches comes from actor Ricky Gervais’ Netflix show After Life, in which several of the most profound conversations from the series take place on a park bench.

And Cllr Simon Morrall (Cons, Frankley Great Park), who campaigned for Birmingham City Council to adopt a Suicide Prevention Strategy back in 2018 and is a patron of CALM, said he was glad to see mental health getting the attention it deserves.

“I’m absolutely overjoyed to see Netflix working with CALM to recognise Cofton park as an ideal place for one of these benches,” he said.

“I do hope the important message this sends will allow people to reflect, find headspace and most importantly talk to one another.

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“Mental health affects everyone, it’s everyone’s battle and everyone’s business, we can all do our bit and little gesture like this go a long way to make a big difference.

“Thank you After Life for the kind generosity.”

Netflix After Life BenchNetflix After Life Bench
Netflix After Life Bench

After Life’s third and final series was released on January 14, starring Gervais as local journalist Tony, a man plunged into intense grief following the death of his wife.

And each of the 25 benches features a QR code leading to online resources and a message of support for people finding themselves in need of help.

“We hope the benches will create a lasting legacy for After Life, as well as become a place for people to visit, and we are thrilled to be associated with CALM and the great work they do,” Gervais said.

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“Park benches provide opportunities to reflect, talk to someone, sit shoulder to shoulder with someone and get things off your chest,” added Simon Gunning, CEO of CALM.

“We’re delighted to team up with Netflix to put benches in parks across the country – inscribed with that crucial line from the show, “Hope is everything” – to help people have those conversations and to show it’s normal to have those feelings.”

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