More than 40% of Americans report that they are struggling with mental health conditions as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, according to an August 2020 survey reported in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Week Report. The Ad Council is joining the White House, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), CDC and the CDC Foundation to launch COPING-19, a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign aimed at raising awareness and providing Americans with tips and resources to help people who are experiencing mental health challenges. Creative and media partners include dentsumcgarrybowen and M8, Entercom and Verizon Media’s RYOT Studio.
According to the reported survey, nearly 41% of respondents had at least one mental or behavioral health condition: 31% said they’d experienced symptoms of anxiety or depression, 26% said they’d experienced trauma or stressor-related disorder symptoms, 13% said they’d started or increased substance use and 11% said they’d seriously considered suicide in the last 30 days.
The new integrated campaign features television, radio and digital PSAs, as well as a custom-developed interactive experience on Yahoo Life, which is a trusted source for practical wellbeing content and advice, helping readers make good choices for the mind and body. The experience was developed by RYOT Studio, Verizon Media’s branded content studio, which specializes in virtual and augmented reality. dentsumcgarrybowen created the COPING-19 platform, as well as the TV and digital PSAs, M8 created the Spanish-language spots and Entercom developed the radio assets.
“With the prolonged health crisis and the isolation and economic challenges stemming from Covid-19, many aren’t talking about what’s happening with our mental health. COPING-19 is a far-reaching platform that provides self-care and coping tips, as well as resources, to address the struggles people are facing. We’re so grateful to our creative and media partners for developing the creative content and resources that will empower audiences throughout the country to take steps to protect their mental health,” said Heidi Arthur, Chief Campaign Development Officer, Ad Council.
COPING-19 taps into the many emotional and mental health struggles Americans are facing as a result of the pandemic. The creative is designed to bring some of these feelings to the forefront, helping audiences recognize they are not alone in their experiences, and providing actionable tips and strategies to help them cope at a new website, Coping-19.org. The site will serve as a central hub where visitors will be able to access over 100 vetted resources in English and Spanish to help with their mental health needs. Coping-19.org will also feature a set of self-care best practices and principles in accordance with CDC and leading scientists, as well as links to more in-depth information by category.
The Ad Council is distributing the new PSAs to media outlets nationwide and the ads will run in time and space donated by the media. The following media partners have committed to donate time and space to support the effort on their channels and platforms: Entercom, Facebook, Google/YouTube, Pinterest, Reddit and Verizon Media.
“It’s not often you get to work on a campaign that genuinely has the power to help people manage their lives,” said Ida Rezvani, President, New York, dentsu mcgarrybowen. “We committed to this work because mental health issues are more prevalent, and we wanted to support those in our community.”