Victorians are being encouraged to reach out for mental health support through a new campaign.
The HeadtoHelp service, set up by Victoria’s six Primary Health Networks (PHNs), is designed to help Victorians find the best mental health support for them, the creator of the awareness campaign, Icon Agency, said in a statement.
As well as a central intake 1800 595 212 number, 15 new hubs have been set up across the state to provide a free and confidential service for those who may be experiencing mental ill health, whether pre-existing or as a response to the impacts of COVID-19.
Callers will be able to speak to a friendly mental health professional who can help them access support from an existing mental health service or through a HeadtoHelp hub.
Funded by the Australian government, Victoria’s PHNs engaged Icon Agency to develop a creative communications plan to raise awareness of the new service. To reach those in need of support, Icon was tasked with encouraging Victorians to HeadtoHelp by calling the service number.
“Mental ill health can affect anyone at any time but the impacts of COVID-19 have meant increased anxiety and uncertainty,” Icon Agency creastive director Ed Bechervaise said.
“To reach this new vulnerable audience, who are experiencing financial stress, anxiety and loneliness, we wanted to encourage them to prioritise their mental health and reach out for support sooner rather than later.”
Icon developed a campaign strategy that drew on digital research insights, which was designed to build mass awareness of the service, utilising content production, outdoor, radio, digital marketing, and social media engagement.
Core to this was the creative development of the HeadtoHelp character, the bear, Icon explained.
As “a universal symbol of comfort”, the bear has been utilised in the design of a new website, social assets and videos.
Under the HeadtoHelp campaign umbrella, the character has been created to “resonate with a mass audience, encouraging anyone experiencing mental ill health to reach out for support”.
‘We wanted to create something that was approachable, empathetic and sensitive. So, the result was an anthropomorphic metaphor for how many people might have felt this year,” Bechervaise said.
The campaign went live on Monday, 9 November. To find out more about HeadtoHelp, click here.
Credits for the campaign are as follows:
Group account director: Hazel Tiernan
Junior account director: Joanna Raine
Senior account manager: Jasmine Gaynor
Creative director: Ed Bechervaise
Creative director team: Brendon Guthrie, Tim Haynes
Designer: Mark Oriondo
Production: Yukfoo Animation
Sound: Sonic Playground
Digital marketing specialist: Tammy Trinh
Senior digital producer: Kim Elliott
UX designer: Luke Matthews
Senior developer: Jamie Brennan
Senior account director: Fiona Miller
Senior account manager: Sian Evans