Youtube VideoThe first three years of the Ministry of Health’s National Depression Initiative campaign led to significant increases in people’s willingness to seek help and help others with depression, with the John Kirwan ads encouraging patients, and particularly men, to speak more openly to their doctor about mental health issues. And the next phase of the campaign aimed to convert awareness into action and motivate people to help themselves. Enter The Journal, an interactive, pragmatic, self-management e-therapy programme accessed through www.depression.org.nz that was focused on mentoring people with mild to moderate depression.
Over the initial launch phase (June 1 to July 16, 2010), the results for visits, repeat visits and time on site were nothing short of spectacular. But the most impressive metric was that the average Journal user went from moderately severe depression (the upper end of the target audience) to almost none.
No social marketing programme in the world has ever utilised advertising, eTherapy and personalised support to deliver such tangible behaviour change and clear evidence of efficacy. And these results have proven so promising the Ministry of Health is about to conduct a full trial on The Journal in the hope it will be given the same medical status as anti-depressants.
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CATEGORY COMMENT: “Coming from my sector, it’s a particularly challenging time to be involved in marketing. This isn’t an environment where marketing in the public sector is necessarily encouraged. So it’s challenging, but it’s definitely exciting.”
THE PEOPLE: Derek Thompson, Team Leader – Problem Gambling Mental Health and Addiction Programmes
THE PARTNERS: DraftFCB, Phoenix Research
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