The Be There Certificate is a free, self-paced, interactive online mental health course, created by Jack.org in partnership with Born This Way Foundation. It teaches young people (and anyone!) how to recognize if someone is struggling with their mental health, understand how to offer support, and learn how to connect them to the help they need and deserve.
The Be There Certificate was created with young people in mind - it provides them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to safely support those around them. Mental health resources must be inclusive, accessible, and approachable. Our research shows young people want tangible resources that speak in their authentic voice, but there are often significant barriers to get needed support. The Be There Certificate removes barriers of cost, transportation, scheduling, and accessibility, differentiating it from other mental health training resources. The course is available wherever you are, whenever you’re ready, and can be done without judgment.
Through the Be There Certificate, we aim to bring mental health literacy to as many young people as possible and increase access to mental health training. The course is an opportunity to change how we have mental health conversations in everyday life, and in turn, better support one another.
For the campaign, our goals were to:
Promote the certificate to young people, using videos, scenarios, illustrations and Be There’s 5 Golden Rules
Drive traffic to and engagement on the Be There Certificate site
Achieve an at least 5% conversion rate on sign ups vs. completed certificates
We’ve seen in our research and conversations that young people turn to each other for mental health support before approaching a caregiver, educator, counselor, or other adult. This is in the case of everyday troubles and even crises. Young people desire resources to both support their own mental health and want to know how to be there for their peers, but face barriers such as accessibility, cost, and lack of vetted information.
The Be There Certificate bridges those gaps. Born This Way Foundation teamed up with Jack.org to develop a comprehensive, educational online course based on content from BeThere.org, a resource created by Jack.org in response to a needs assessment of over 1,200 youth. We wanted to ensure that the course was developed utilizing real insights from young people in order for us to ensure it remains inclusive of their insights and experiences.
Young people were experiencing many mental health challenges even before the pandemic dramatically altered their experiences at home, at school, and in the community. As COVID-19 accelerated and even exacerbated those challenges, frameworks such as the Be There Certificate are now even more necessary to help cope with the overlapping and ongoing crises in today’s climate.
We built the course to include interactive activities that would deliver a diverse learning experience incorporating a variety of learning styles. Realistic scenarios within the course enable learners to dive deeper into applying what they learned to real-life situations. In addition to providing the resources for youth to support their peers, the Be There Certificate is available to those looking to improve their mental health literacy and prepare for future volunteer or employment opportunities where this knowledge will be useful.
Because there are many different understandings of mental health, the Be There Certificate teaches users to acknowledge different perspectives and not shy away from reaching out. We designed the Be There Certificate in English, French, and Spanish versions with original content for each, expanding our reach and impact across the three most spoken languages in North America.
Led by our goal to include and affirm young people across communities, we built a launch campaign employing the following tactics:
We consider our efforts to have been a massive success in elevating mental health education for everyone, across state lines and country borders. Our campaign reached 350K+ visitors, with more than 34K+ certificates created and 14K+ certificates completed. Site visitors come from 190 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Germany, Mexico, South Africa, and the Philippines. Of those who completed the course, 63% were women, 29% men, and 5% nonbinary; 60% were white, 8.5% Latine, and 8.4% Black.
We achieved our goal of not only creating a course that is inclusive and accessible, but also effective. 95% of participants shared the course improved their ability to recognize if someone is struggling with their mental health, and 96% feel better able to safely support someone struggling with mental health.