Saginaw County Community Mental Health Authority Launches Innovative Internet Anti-Stigma Campaign

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Saginaw County Community Mental Health Authority (SCCMHA) launched a new anti-stigma campaign with a series of digital ads that can be found on MLive.com and other internet websites. But these aren't your average advertisements.

Snap Out Of It Ad
We hope that by taking a bold approach to addressing sensitive topics, we will create a new conversation regarding mental health misconceptions, and ultimately help more people reach out for help if they are struggling with mental health issues.

Saginaw County Community Mental Health Authority (SCCMHA) launched a new anti-stigma campaign this week with a series of digital ads that can be found on mlive.com along with other websites. But these aren’t your average advertisements.

“Our creative strategy came about after discovering many individuals with mental illness frequently hear insensitive phrases when referring to their mental health status,” said Sandra M. Lindsey, CEO of SCCMHA. “We don’t believe people were trying to be mean spirited when they were saying these things — they just didn’t know what to say. We decided to use these phrases in our campaign to course correct the public and offer positive, helpful alternatives.”

The goal of the campaign is two-fold: to reduce mental health stigma and to provide resources for people who may need help.

“Through the offering of positive alternatives to commonly used, but negative phrases, we hope the public becomes more knowledgeable about mental health misconceptions,” said Lindsey. “For those struggling with the symptoms of mental illness the ads offer more information on how and where to get help.”

Using eye-catching colors and design, each ad places emphasis on a commonly used phrase that is often directed at those suffering from mental illnesses. These phrases are used to grab attention and then immediately course correct the remark by offering positive and helpful alternatives. For example, many people who were interviewed heard the phrase “snap out of it,” suggesting that mental illness is a question of willpower. The ads offer a more helpful phrase — “This must be difficult. I’m here for you.”

After clicking on the ads, the user is taken to a landing page helpishere.support that gives an emergency hotline phone number, which is active 24 hours per day, a non-emergency phone number and further information about SCCMHA’s network of services.

“We hope that by taking a bold approach to addressing sensitive topics, we will create a new conversation regarding mental health misconceptions, and ultimately help more people reach out for help if they are struggling with mental health issues,” said Lindsey.

About Saginaw County Community Mental Health Authority
Saginaw County Community Mental Health Authority is the local, separate governmental unit serving Saginaw County, a Community Mental Health Services Program (CMHSP), which provides and manages publicly funded specialty mental health and substance use disorder services. SCCMHA is headquartered in Saginaw, Mich. and provides numerous services including evaluations, screenings, treatments and referrals. SCCMHA assists approximately 5,000 Saginaw County citizens each year. Visit http://www.sccmha.org for further information.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, call (989) 792-9732 or (800) 233-0022. This hotline is open 24 hours per day including weekends and holidays. For a non-emergency, call (989) 797-3400 or (800) 258-8678.

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