Each month ‘Insights in Action’ discusses how research and insight has made a commercial or societal difference and what you can learn from it.

the context

W/C 13th May is Mental Health Awareness Week. Partly due to excellent campaigns on mental health, public understanding of it is improving. Resultantly, this month ‘Insights in Action’ evaluates how Scottish mental health awareness charity See Me campaigned to stop stigma and discrimination against mental health issues in the workplace.

the insight

The workplace was identified as the setting where people with mental health issues were most affected. A poll of 1,165 Scottish workers highlighted:

  • Many people don’t inform their employers of mental health issues due to fears around job security
  • The majority thought that a colleague with mental health problems wouldn’t disclose it because of fears it may harm their career progress
  • Only 22% believed people have a good understanding of employee mental health. However, 82% wanted a better understanding of it

The key insight from this was that ‘fear’ prevented mental health being discussed at work. This fear was present in employees and employers. Employees were fearful of the consequences of being seen to have mental health issues and employers feared saying ‘the wrong thing’ regarding mental health.

the insight activationThese insights led to a campaign that was based around asking people “Are you Okay?”

The campaign was centred around a poem. The poem used language and tone that people used to describe their own mental health issues. Appropriate imagery was then woven around the poem’s language. Several channels and assets delivered the campaign:

  • Cinema advertising (35.5%) – an appointment-to-view channel
  • Radio (50%) – due to its low rates of advertising avoidance and wide reach
  • Digital (14.5%) – combining You Tube, Facebook and Teads media platform
Source: https://www.seemescotland.org/

the impact

  • 250,000 You Tube views for the film
  • 13.6million impacts via radio
  • 100,109 views on Teads
  • 6,146 SeeMe website visits via Facebook
  • 80 press impressions
  • Improved traffic to the SeeMe website by 42.8%, with 73% of traffic being new visitors

This engagement allowed the campaign to start a large-scale conversation on mental health in the workplace (over 400 Reddit comments). This lead to 272 workplace sign-ups and 324 supporters of the cause.

the learnings

‘The Power of Okay’ has two learnings for researchers:

               1. language and tone matter

Using language people could relate to was pivotal to the success of ‘Are You Okay?’. In doing so, it removed stigma around mental health and meant the film and audio advertising was typically engaged with for its entire duration.

This shows how powerful ‘language’ and ‘tone’ can be. However, not enough research is conducted on how to maximise the power of ‘language’ and ‘tone’. This is despite behavioural science showing many examples where minor copy and tone changes have made significant differences to how communications are received.

                2. are we all okay?

Let’s not kid ourselves. Working in market research is stressful. Despite this, how often do we ask our colleagues, agency partners and clients if they’re okay?

My guess is less often than we should. This is despite the wellbeing of the people who work in research being pivotal to maintaining a $46bn industry.

We’re bold in how we methodologically innovate and recommend actions to clients. So occasionally asking those around us if they’re ok should be easy. In doing so, we’ll be looking out for the wellbeing of market research’s most valuable asset. The people who work in it.

This post was originally published on Research World 

By Jack Miles, Senior Research Director

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click here for more information on Mental Health Awareness week

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