Health awareness campaigns are on the rise – and for good reason. They encourage people to be proactive about their healthcare and create a sense of shared responsibility between patients and providers. Health campaigns also allow providers to spend less time on paperwork, freeing them to perform higher-value work and reducing burnout. Mental health is becoming an increasingly important topic for providers to discuss with their patients, and a creative campaign is a great opportunity to raise awareness for mental health.
Throughout the year, there are numerous opportunities for health awareness campaigns, since each month is associated with certain health topics – such as diabetes, breast cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. Here’s a helpful calendar you can use to create compelling marketing campaigns for every month of the year. And with Mental Health Month beginning in May, now is an excellent time to plan an awareness campaign.
May Is Mental Health Awareness Month
May is the perfect time to raise awareness for mental health conditions and encourage those struggling to seek treatment. By engaging patients in creative ways, your health system can provide access to critical resources, offer support, and fight the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Data from the American Psychological Association shows Americans are becoming more open about mental health. What’s more, the majority of adults harbor positive associations with mental health treatment: 87% believe mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of and 86% believe people struggling with mental health disorders can get better.
While Americans are growing more comfortable talking about mental health, it’s still a pervasive issue. Tens of millions suffer from mental illnesses every year – an estimated 26% of adults over the age of 18 have a diagnosable condition. Throughout the pandemic, this number soared, with more people seeking treatment than ever before. But even so, estimates suggest only half of people with mental disorders receive treatment.
So, what can healthcare providers do to ensure patients stay informed about their mental health and receive proper care? Mental Health Awareness Month provides the opportunity to engage patients in an open dialogue about mental health and its impacts. By opening the conversation and breaking the stigmas associated with mental illness, health providers can help patients receive the services and support they need.
Here are three creative strategies for engaging patients and raising mental health awareness:
Seek Inspiration from Brands Outside the Healthcare Space
Many brands are embracing creative marketing tactics to raise awareness for mental health – and not just in the healthcare space. JanSport provides young people with mental health resources through its #LightenTheLoad campaign, while Maybelline’s “Brave Together” initiative aims to destigmatize anxiety and depression. Athleta also prioritizes mental well-being through its AthletaWell platform. These innovative initiatives demonstrate how health awareness marketing can promote positive change and inspire action. They also offer unique insights and viewpoints, which you can apply to your own mental health campaign.
Reference a Trending Topic
Mental illness can feel isolating. Sharing a blog or social media post about a trending topic can be a powerful way to remind people that it’s a universal experience. Check Instagram and other platforms to see what influencers are saying. Many celebrities including Selena Gomez, Serena Williams, and Prince Harry have been candid about their mental health struggles. Posting about a trending topic from the news, like prolonged grief, can also help mitigate the loneliness associated with mental illness. These stories can encourage people to seek help, knowing they’re never alone.
Connect with Patients at Home
Visiting the doctor can be overwhelming, especially when discussing behavioral or emotional health. For patients to feel comfortable opening up, building trust through communication is key. Connecting with patients at home via text or broadcast messaging is a great way to remind them of upcoming appointments, promote local wellness classes, and check in to see how they’re feeling. You can also share helpful resources – like this article from the National Institute of Mental Health, which provides tips for talking with your healthcare provider about mental health. By communicating with patients where they’re most comfortable, you can help empower them to take charge of their health.
Striking the Right Note with Your Mental Health Awareness Campaign
A successful mental health campaign adds to the conversation, celebrates different perspectives, and offers valuable educational resources. But how can you ensure it’s striking the right tone with your audience? Even though people are becoming more comfortable talking about mental health, it’s still a sensitive topic.
It’s important to remember that while mental illness is universal, everyone’s experience is unique. An impactful campaign must therefore be centered around the mental health of its audience – championing their stories and, above all else, providing genuine support for those who need it. With this in mind, you can launch a powerful campaign that holds relevance throughout Mental Health Month and beyond.
For more healthcare marketing tips, check out Four Strategies for Engaging Patients Struggling with Mental Health, Overcoming Mental Health Stressors to Drive Patient Adherence, and Improving Access to Care for Mental Health Patients. And stay tuned for the ultimate Health Awareness Campaign Playbook coming your way soon!