Millions of adults worldwide live with some form of mental illness. Amidst the ongoing pandemic and social unrest, it’s highly likely that people are struggling. Isolation combined with the myriad stressors of current events has created a perfect storm of stress and anxiety.
Now more than ever, it’s important that your marketing takes mental health into account. Because even in spite of how many people suffer from it, even in spite of how difficult things are for people all over the world, there’s still a stigma around mental illness. A pervasive, unpleasant, ingrained urge to push it under the rug.
Removing that stigma requires that businesses and brands do what they can to spread awareness, yours included.
This starts from within. Because there are rarely any visual indicators that clients or staff are suffering from mental illness, you need to promote a culture of support and understanding. Make it clear that people can ask for help, and you’ll do what you can to provide it without judgment.
Some people find it incredibly difficult – even mortifying – to ask for help, even when they desperately need it. The sooner we as a society can destigmatize mental illness, the better. Free medical support for mental health issues such as depression and anxiety will go a particularly long way, especially in marketing.
Consider, for instance, that in a 2018 study by online job board CV library, over a third of marketing professionals indicated that they were driven to depression and anxiety by their career. Then, consider that according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of North America, only 18 percent of the population suffers from anxiety. That’s a significant gulf.
Beyond promoting more internal awareness and acceptance of mental health, you can also weave this complex topic into your marketing efforts more easily than you might expect. You might start simple, with marketing materials such as stress balls, fidget spinners, or fidget cubes. You might publish blog posts or social campaigns in support of a particular mental health issue, or even participate in a podcast on the topic.
You might also consider hosting events dedicated to mental health and awareness, something which can more easily connect you with the community. Partnering with other local businesses can go a long way towards expanding your reach, as well. Moreover, demonstrating to your core audience that you’ve put time and effort into considering their well-being can do a great deal of good for everyone.
As far as engaging with current events is concerned, it’s not strictly necessary. The best your business can do is emphasize to both customers and employees that their health and wellness is a priority. Emphasize that mental health need not be an invisible problem and that people need not suffer alone.