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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

White Sox Mental Health Awareness PSA

Entered in Mental Health


The White Sox produced a 90-second public service announcement sharing heartfelt insights from big leaguers Jake Burger, Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech in an effort to destigmatize conversations surrounding mental health. Providing fans with vulnerable commentary from athletes, the video highlights crisis support hotlines and resources for individuals battling anxiety, depression, grief, and issues relating to self-harm. The content department worked closely with team psychologist Dr. Jeffrey A. Fishbein and the community relations department to identify players who had both overcome adversity and expressed interest in supporting the organization’s wider Mental Health Awareness Month efforts.

Showing viewers they are never alone in their journey, the team sought to achieve three key objectives:

Mental health is bigger than baseball, and the organization’s first, digital-focused mental health awareness campaign connected fans with never-before-seen footage and emotional observations from some of the Sox biggest names. The PSA leveraged the players’ and organization’s combined social platforms to address the ever-important issue and share resources for those in need. It reminded individuals that they are never alone in their battle with mental health, while promoting community wellness and breaking down barriers to mental health care.

Strategy and Execution

Building a Strategy: The White Sox identified three players who had spoken publicly about their struggles with mental health. Jake Burger, who – following a pair of Achilles tears that sidelined him for two seasons – revealed his diagnosis with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), spoke with media on several occasions about his struggles with depression. It was his renewed sense of community at home with family and friends during the public health crisis that encouraged him to share his story. The story of Lucas Giolito’s early major-league career can be defined by his triumphant response to failure. Reflecting on his 2018 campaign, he shared his battles with pressure, negative headspace, intrusive thoughts and the work he’s put forth to enhance his focus and find renewed confidence. Their teammate Michael Kopech cited multiple reasons for opting out of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, including concerns about his mental health. He disclosed his battle with anxiety and depression, reflecting on hope that vocalizing and engaging in discussions about the issue would make it real and easier to address.

Further exploring well-documented experiences that the Sox hoped would resonate with fans, the team shared their strategy with the players:

Production: Sox TV conducted three long-form interviews during Spring Training at Camelback Ranch. Navigating difficult conversations regarding mental health, the team prepped questions unique to each player’s journey. Soundbites included within are not scripted and offer genuine and empathetic reflection on the advice these players have for those in need. Players being interviewed were aware of the resources the White Sox planned to provide viewers but needed to feel comfortable with their comments surrounding such a difficult conversation being made public. As one director stated, “We prepped questions about the topic, but quickly realized each players’ passion for the subject area. During the interviews, we found ourselves pausing production to fully respect the heaviness and magnitude of the stories and emotions being shared. From there, everything was viewed as a collaboration, because these guys have invaluable insights that need to be heard.”

Rollout: Continuing the organization’s efforts for Mental Health Awareness Month, the PSA launched on May 15, alongside a new mental health landing page ( and posts to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.


Starting production, the team had three main objectives: Provide resources for fans to seek mental health support; Drive mental health awareness and share positive coping mechanisms for those struggling with these issues; Encourage a dialogue around mental health to break the stigma surrounding mental illness.

It’s often difficult to measure the immediate successes of PSAs, given an encouragement of providing confidentiality to those impacted. The team celebrated as Burger, Giolito and Kopech felt compelled to share the video to their respective Twitter and Instagram accounts, with several additional 2023 White Sox team members taking to social media to help promote.

Individual reactions – including viewers sharing their connection to acronyms G.A.M.E. and Burger B.O.M.B.S – showed a personal, meaningful resonation with fans.

Top Social Media Reactions:


Video for White Sox Mental Health Awareness PSA

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Chicago White Sox


Entry Credits