Raising Awareness of Mental Health

digital out of home advertising in new york city

​​​Posted May 10, 2021
Elizabeth Rave, Marketing Senior Director

As seen in Media Village

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and this year, more than then ever, brands recognize the need to connect with people to normalize, support, educate and provide resources around mental health. To spotlight the importance of focusing on well-being, OUTFRONT partnered with Jay Shetty, author and purpose coach, to bring positive mantras to Americans during their daily commutes and activities for the month of May. This channel, Moments in Health, which is the most recent addition to the Moments content series, provides simple, attainable, and powerful statements. The quotations are small reminders that can help reduce anxiety or concerns that people may be experiencing in that moment. The content is purposely relevant to the environment in which it is seen and the background colors vary dependent on time of day (pictured above). With over 60% of young adults reporting that the pandemic has had negative impact on their mental health, the subway environment, with an increasingly young ridership, makes it the perfect opportunity to reach this engaged demographic with the right messages.

Preventive Measures, a Washington, D.C.-based community mental health service company, sought to destigmatize mental health services with their bold #itsOK campaign, allowing people to accept that it is ok to not be ok. The campaign included several copy lines such as: "Who does the go-to person go to for help?" and "Because getting the help you need isn't crazy at all." The use of powerful people, families, and a new spin on the word crazy, reinforces mental health support as not shameful or even unusual. OUTFRONT Studios, our in-house creative agency, designed the campaign, which targeted Southeast and Southwest parts of DC; neighborhoods harder hit by the pandemic, increasing the probability of reaching those in need of resources.

San Diego's Health and Human Services Agency hyperlocal and contextually relevant campaign encouraged people to "Mask your face, not your feelings." Messaging was presented in both English and Spanish, depending on the neighborhood location. This campaign reminded people that while we may be hiding half of our face, it is important not to hide when we need help. The organization offered support by phone and online.

COVID-19 forced many adults to turn to telehealth methods in order to receive medical care. Following positive initial experiences with virtual appointments during lockdown, adults are now more trusting of telehealth as a primary method of medical care. Sondermind tapped into the telehealth trend with its offering of Video Therapy as a great way to speak to someone virtually.

Lastly, Madhappy and Project Healthy Minds are collaborating for Mental Health Awareness month with a simplistic, yet powerful, campaign running in major cities such as Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, Atlanta and San Francisco. The brands smartly harnessed the massive reach out of home media provides to deliver on its purpose to start the conversation around mental health in as many places as possible.

These are just a few examples of brands making impact in the mental health space. As people prepare to emerge to the new normal of real-life activities and experiences, lingering or new anxiety can be expected. With 45% of Americans reporting that they felt more in control of their health in 2020, effective messaging from brands is essential now, and in the future, to help people maintain that sense of control. As the days get longer, weather gets warmer, and people get back to old activities, the outdoor space continues to be a smart way to engage and connect with people in meaningful ways.

Thank you!