After Life’s Ricky Gervais and Netflix join forces to combat Blue Monday

After Life creator Ricky Gervais and streaming service Netflix have announced a new mental health initiative with UK charity CALM

To celebrate the release of After Life season 3, Netflix announced that it has donated 25 benches up and down the UK as part of a collaboration with Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): a UK-based suicide prevention charity.

Conversations around mental health and suicide are at the heart of Gervais’ Netflix series. The darkly comic drama, which is based in fictional UK town Tambury, centres around 60-year-old Tony as he grapples with grief after losing his wife to cancer. As he learns to cope with his loss, Tony, who is played by Gervais, spends a lot of time sitting on a bench in the churchyard near his wife’s grave, where he is often joined by fellow widow Anne (Penelope Wilton).

Several poignant moments throughout the show’s run have taken place on this bench, with Anne inspiring Tony to seek happiness and enjoy life again. The benches donated by the streaming service— which can be found in various places like Glasgow, London and Liverpool — feature QR codes that link to mental health resources and messages of encouragement. They’re also inscribed with a quote from the TV series: “Hope is everything.”

In a press statement seen by Metro, 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.”

CALM chief executive Simon Gunning added, “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.”

You can watch all of After Life season 3 on Netflix from 08:00GMT on January 14.