Netflix has donated benches to local councils around the UK as part of a mental health scheme in conjunction with the third season of After Life.
Commissioned with suicide prevention charity the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), the benches feature QR codes which take people to online resources and messages of support.
They are also inscribed with a quote from the third season of the show: “Hope is everything.”
The 25 benches are scattered across the UK, from Nottingham, Bath, Bristol and Cardiff to several locations throughout London.
Set in the surprisingly sunny fictional town of Tambury, After Life stars creator and comedian Ricky Gervais as local journalist Tony Johnson, who is contending with intense grief following the death of his wife, Lisa.
Throughout the series, Gervais’ character is seen sitting on a bench reflecting on life after loss.
It is hoped the real-life benches will encourage people to talk, rather than bottling up emotions.
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CALM’s website says: “Like we try to do at CALM, the show has helped people to stop feeling ashamed or embarrassed about discussing their emotions. It’s a show that makes you think about your own life, how you handle tragedy, what it all means and what’s important to you.
“It’s showed that, yes, grief does hit you like a ton of bricks, but talking openly, in a real way, about how you’re feeling does actually really help. And in this series it shows that hope is everything.”
Gervais said: “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.”
He shared a map of the bench locations to Twitter, encouraging people to “visit and take a selfie.”
Here's a map of where the benches are, so you can visit and take a selfie 👍 pic.twitter.com/MeiXvXnV0C
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) January 17, 2022
Simon Gunning, chief executive at CALM, said: “Park benches provide opportunities to reflect, talk to someone, sit shoulder to shoulder with someone and get things off your chest.
“That is why 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.”