Mental health and suicide are not topics people want to think or talk about. It's viewed as "someone else's problem." People don't know where to turn when they're in their darkest hour. There's a lack of understanding for what mental health truly is (we all have it and should care for it!), and often, solutions look bleak, cold, scary, and unapproachable.
When the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services was planning to launch its initiative for the national 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, they needed a different approach to stand out and reach Oklahomans who needed the life-saving service. Enter: Shift From Stigma.
With a colorful, personable brand rooted in art, Insight Creative Group aimed to contrast and reframe stigmas with optimism, creativity, and at times, surprise. Rooted in art-inspired visuals, approachable messaging, and partnerships with local artists, the campaign was an opportunity to:
Art pushes conversations forward. It gets people talking. It draws people in. Art is the premiere avenue to express yourself and figure out your feelings. What better place to inject it than a campaign for a mental health lifeline?
From the start, Shift From Stigma's strategy was rooted in creativity, unexpected ideas, and a DNA of art. The first project produced was an original rap featuring a moving collage of art and representations of 988. Throughout the first year, we initiated several creative partnerships for further projects. These included partnerships with Oklahoma artists, musicians, poets, and actors, including Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth, recording artist Mothica, and artist Denise Duong.
988 Oklahoma Artist Series
Results from Shift From Stigma have been extraordinarily positive. In the past year, Oklahoma's 988 initiative has become the guide for many other states. It has gotten national attention, thanks in part to our Super Bowl commercial. It has grown a loyal audience on its social platforms. But most importantly, it has increased calls to the lifeline dramatically, and saved over 38,000 Oklahoma lives in year one alone.
Along with countless untrackable conversations at dinner tables and in text messages all over the state, conversations are happening within our digital platforms too. 988 Oklahoma received nearly 5,000 messages in its first year from people wanting to know more about the service, asking how to get help, and wondering how to get involved.
Total (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter)
Because of our creative approach and continued partnerships with local creators, Shift From Stigma has grown into something bigger than just a branding campaign for a mental health lifeline. It's a movement in the state of Oklahoma toward better mental health.