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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

988 Oklahoma: Mental Health Awareness Month

Winner in Instagram


Each year, May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month. Naturally, 988 Oklahoma’s Mental Health Lifeline — the state of Oklahoma's effort behind the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline — decided to use the month as an awareness platform for the life-saving service and to encourage Oklahomans to speak more openly about mental health.

Along with a 360 advertising and public relations campaign, in May 2023, 988 Oklahoma kicked off a month-long Instagram campaign consisting of a minimum of 31 posts about mental health and self care tactics. The campaign's primary goals were to: 

Followers were encouraged to take the Self Care Challenge and learn 31 new self care tactics with a coordinating calendar. The campaign's content fit cleanly alongside the challenge, with a new piece of themed content each day.

Strategy and Execution

When you think about a suicide lifeline's social media identity, you might expect darkness — intimidating language, a very serious tone, unapproachable statistics and topics. At 988 Oklahoma, we know conversation is what saves lives, and people will only have conversations when it feels welcoming and normal.

Continuing the brand's overall platform of shifting from stigma, we planned our content calendar to do just that. Our goal was to address stigma head-on with unexpected, colorful, and optimistic content centered around self care. 

We began the process by mapping out a Self Care Calendar with a different challenge each day, such as Start a Gratitude Journal, Schedule a Mental Health Training, and Prep a "Bad Day Plan." From there, we began building our content plan with writers, videographers, designers, and more. From relatable memes, mental health must-read lists, and encouraging messages from the Call Center Critters to rage room features and grounding techniques with a therapist, we sought to reach Oklahomans with purpose-driven content they actually wanted to consume and share.

Key Features

Themed Weeks

Each week of the month was tailored to a different category of self care — Celebrate, Educate, Heal, Refresh, and Share — and each day's content had a different self care tactic tied to it. 

A coordinating calendar was created to work in tandem with content throughout the month so people could follow along with the community as they learned new self care tactics. The calendar could be downloaded at and was also passed out at community events. 

Highly Shareable Content 

No stale, boring statistics and scare tactics here. Each piece of content had a purpose, brought a bright, optimistic tone (even when the topic was dark) and was made with shares in mind. This included half of the month's content being video content in order to tailor to Instagram's preference for the media and the growing prevalence of Reels. 

Collaborations & Partnerships

Because 988 Oklahoma is a lifeline for ALL Oklahomans, we knew the importance in amplifying our message with partnerships. Throughout the month, we collaborated with numerous creators, businesses, and government organizations who shared the resource with their communities and networks too.


Results were strong and output was even larger than originally planned. From May 1 to May 31, @988okla produced 136 pieces of content, including 35 posts (17 standard posts, 18 Reels), 99 Stories, and 2 Instagram ads.

Along with strong metric results, 988 Oklahoma considered the campaign a success on a qualitative level because it 1) increased calls and texts to the lifeline and 2) created conversations about mental health in comments and Story shares. People were excited to see what 988 was going to post each day, with many followers taking the Self Care Challenge and following along all month.

We also consider our partnership and collaboration efforts a success. Throughout the month, 15 collaborations were posted with local artists, businesses, and government agencies, including influencer Clinton Avery Tharp, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Travel OK, and artists Virginia Sitzes and Brandon Stacey. This greatly expanded our reach to new groups of people across the state of Oklahoma. 

Key Results Drivers

Several key pieces of content helped boost efforts and maximize reach to Oklahomans. Top performing posts ranged from informational carousels on ordering naloxone to lighthearted memes and actionable self care ideas. 

How to Use Naloxone

Journal Prompts

Wildlife Affirmations (in collaboration with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation)


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Insight Creative Group, 988 Oklahoma


Entry Credits