Addaction is to change its name to We Are With You in bid to become more accessible to people who want to use its services.
The drug, alcohol and mental health charity, which was founded in 1967 as the Association for Parents of Addicts, said research showed that its staff and services were viewed as warm and approachable but these values were not always reflected in its existing name, which it has used since 1998.
It said research showed that stigma and shame were the major barriers preventing people from accessing help and three times as many people surveyed by the charity said they would choose the name We Are With You than would choose Addaction.
The charity will begin using the new name on 26 February, which coincides with the anniversary in 1967 of the publication of an article by Mollie Craven, whose son was addicted to heroin, calling for a new association to tackle the issue, which led to the charity being formed.
The rebrand process will have taken 18 months from start to finish, a spokeswoman for the charity said.
“At every stage of the process we have based our decisions on evidence and research, taking time to listen to people who use our services or need our services,” she said.
The charity’s new visual identity has been created by the studio Touch and its new website was designed in-house.
Addaction, which had an income of £67.2m in the year to the end of March last year, spent a total of £140,000 on the rebrand, including research, planning, development and rollout costs across all of its services.
The spokeswoman said the charity had worked hard to keep costs as low as possible, doing as much as it could in-house and using external companies only when necessary.
Laura Bunt, acting chief executive of Addaction, 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 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 are 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.”
Addaction, which has 1,527 staff, works with more than 100,000 people a year in more than 120 locations in England and Scotland.