A year ago, the Awareness Committee of the Kane County Mental Health Council put its collective creative heads together as it pondered the question: What else can we do? The goal—as the committee’s name implies— was to raise awareness about the myriad, complex issues facing those needing mental health services and those providing them in Kane County. But we needed to build on what we had. The council already has a Web site. Members of the Awareness Committee produce a monthly newsletter that has gained wide acceptance throughout Kane County. The committee also has produced a PowerPoint presentation (A Layperson’s Guide to Mental Illness), which is available for public presentation to interested groups. What else could we do?
As we enter the second decade of the 21st Century, the competition for our audience is stiffer than ever. Smart phones, I-pads, blogs and social media are terms essentially non-existent 10 years ago. Technology has fundamentally altered forever the medium and the message. It was decided we needed a branded campaign that was able to utilize that technology to cut through the noise and create our own identity, as well as use the new tools that technology has developed.
First of all we wanted a slogan, simple to remember, one that nobody could dispute, and one around which to build the campaign. “We Support Mental Health” fulfills all requirements. We wanted the slogan to become akin to the “Good Housekeeping Seal,” a badge to be aspired to (see the example above). Next we set up a simple Web site whose obvious feature is the calendar, where the member agencies events are posted in an easily accessible format. The Web site is the resource to get your “We Support Mental Health” badge (just click on the link to get the code to embed in your Website). The Council’s member agencies have been asked to display the badge on their individual home pages. As we go forward, we will be urging other agencies, companies, and anyone else who wants to display their support for mental health to “grab” the code and proudly display the “We Support Mental Health” badge on their Web sites. The Awareness Committee also developed a presentation titled “A Layperson’s Guide to Mental Illness,” which has been delivered to community groups all over the county. Instructions on how to schedule the presentation for your group can be found on the “We Support Mental Health” Web site
Finally, we entered the world of social media and established a Twitter account (@kcmentalhealth). Social media is the preferred method of communication among a new generation that expects to be an active participant in the conversation, and not just a passive recipient. Show your support for mental health. Follow us on Twitter and visit the new Web site and get your “We Support Mental Health” badge today!
Jerry Murphy, Executive Director, INC Board