Victorian Primary Health Networks (PHNs) – HeadtoHelp
Local impact of a global pandemic
Of the many adverse impacts COVID-19 has had on Victorians, and the world, the steady decline in mental health has been one of the most far reaching. With a lot of uncertainty in the world, and people being more isolated and stressed than ever, there’s a wave of Victorians experiencing depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.
To help people through this tough time, and connect them to the vital mental health services they need, Icon Agency was tasked by Victoria’s six PHNs to help build the communications framework, brand and website for HeadtoHelp, while running a comprehensive advertising campaign to get the word out.
Improving health services across Australia
There are 31 Primary Health Networks throughout Australia, with six of them located across Victoria. Their purpose is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of health services, and recently, mental health has been one of their biggest priorities. HeadtoHelp is one of many innovative platforms to help integrate and improve mental health services.
HeadtoHelp acts as a hub of mental health services and providers, connecting users with mental health professionals for immediate care, or helping organise them the best service possible. As a new initiative, it was imperative that HeadtoHelp was effectively communicating their services and goals, while reaching as wide an audience as possible.
Reaching the ‘New Vulnerable’
Our key challenge revolved around who we were talking to. Many Victorians facing mental health challenges at the moment are experiencing them for the first time. They’re newly vulnerable – confused and not sure how to deal with what they’re feeling. We had to ensure that HeadtoHelp would make them feel heard, and assure them that it’s ok to feel this way and that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
We also had to be careful with how we communicated HeadtoHelp’s purpose. This was not a mental health education campaign meant to spread awareness. We needed to communicate the existence of this service, and target an audience that was already looking for help.
The Sooner you HeadtoHelp, the Better You’ll Feel
Top of mind when developing this was the need to be open, approachable and comforting. Our audience consisted largely of people in crisis – scared, confused and in need of a helping hand. Visual style development and copywriting was developed from this understanding, with soft colours and reassuring language helping to invite viewers and users in.
A ‘hero’ bear character was developed, and around that a variety of visual material, including three videos. Emotive and relatable, this hero character would help to demonstrate the types of life stresses and problems HeadtoHelp could assist with, while also helping our broad target audience feel understood.
A variety of advertising and marketing activities were conducted at launch, including outdoor advertising, search engine marketing, social media promotion, partner toolkit, digital marketing and radio advertising. Together, these activities all helped to ensure that we were getting the word out, and Victorians would know where to go for help.