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29 January 2020

Drug, alcohol and mental health charity Addaction to change name

Today, drug, alcohol and mental health charity Addaction has announced that it will be rebranding, changing its name to We Are With You and launching a new website on 26 February 2020. 

Research shows that one in six people across England and Scotland have personal experience of issues with drugs, alcohol, mental health or self-harm, but millions are struggling alone. Stigma and shame are major barriers preventing people from accessing help. 

The charity’s services and staff are consistently described as warm, non-judgemental and approachable by the people it helps. However, this ethos hasn’t always been reflected in its name and brand. When tested, three times as many people surveyed said they would choose We Are With You compared to Addaction, with many describing the new name as ‘inclusive’, ‘approachable’ and ‘reassuring’.

The charity hopes to break down barriers, reach a broader audience and help more people with its new name and friendly, hand-drawn visual identity created by Scottish-based studio Touch, as well as a more public-facing, user-friendly website designed in house.

Acting CEO of Addaction, Laura Bunt said: “Through changing our name to We Are With You and creating a new visual identity and website, we hope to be more accessible to people who use or might use our services. This could be someone who just wants some advice on staying safe or to make some small changes, through to those looking for bigger lifestyle changes or structured treatment. 

“Our research shows that language around addiction can in itself be a huge barrier to people seeking help. As We Are With You, we will use everyday language and focus on the help we offer, not the problem. 

“Our new name also better reflects the ethos and history of our services and how we work with people as equal partners.

“At a time when millions of people are experiencing issues with drugs, alcohol and mental health and often going without help, we want to make it as easy as possible for people to take the first step in getting support.

“By building our brand, we also hope to better influence the national conversation around drugs, alcohol and mental health so even more people can get the help and support that they need.” 

The charity first began with a news article written in 1967 by Mollie Craven, whose son was addicted to heroin. She wrote: “We parents of addicts are a neglected and ignored group. I would like to appeal to everyone interested in this agonising problem to form an association. We can help each other, we can help with research into the problem and its origin and cure; we can cooperate with the new legislation; in many ways we can help each other's children where we cannot help our own.”

Launching in the week that the original letter was published over 50 years ago, the new charity name We Are With You will help to continue to champion Mollie’s message of working in partnership to overcome problems with drugs, alcohol and mental health.

Notes to editors

  • Addaction is a leading UK drug, alcohol and mental health charity. 
  • Each year we work with more than 100,000 people in over 120 locations across Scotland and England.
  • We provide free and confidential support to people experiencing issues with drugs, alcohol or mental health. We work with people on their own goals, whether that’s staying safe and healthy, making small changes or stopping an unwanted habit altogether. 
  • We use our expertise to improve the help available and raise awareness around drugs, alcohol and mental health so that more people can get support. 
  • Please avoid the words addict, alcoholic, user or abuser, as suggested in the Associated Press Stylebook 2017, in order to stop the stigmatisation of a health issue.