Promoting a Mental Health Crisis Line – Without Using the Word ‘Crisis’
In summer 2022, a new 988 helpline rolled out nationwide to replace ad hoc national and local suicide prevention crisis lines with a single, simple-to-remember phone number. Marketing for Change was tapped to conduct research to ensure Central Maryland residents would recognize, trust, and be willing to use the 988 helpline. What we heard loud and clear: residents wanted a helpline that promised hope and relief. But the biggest barriers to calling were stigma around mental health – and not knowing what the experience of calling might be like.
Hope and Help
Like 911, the 988 helpline is a national number with a local response. Marketing for Change developed a brand for the regional helpline that reflected what residents were looking for: hope for a better tomorrow and a broader focus on mental wellbeing that reduced stigma around seeking help. We are currently developing an outreach campaign to ensure all residents know that when life gets overwhelming, it can get better. And CALL 988 is here to help.