The Bernalillo County Department of Behavioral Health Services was created to improve behavioral health outcomes in the county through innovative, cohesive and measurable programs, treatment services and supports aimed at preventing the incidence of crisis and substance use disorders. The Behavior Health Initiative is overseen and funded by the county and partners with the community to leverage resources, expand services, and improve access to care.
We were tasked with creating a PSA campaign for the county, through the BHI and DWI Planning Council, to raise awareness and provide resources for the prevention of DWI, Relapse and Suicide, Domestic Violence, and Risky Youth Behaviors.
Creating impactful PSA’s for behavioral health issues is no small task. In developing the concepts, we worked to balance the sensitivity of the topics with a creative approach that would deliver videos that could make a positive impact on the viewer and the community. At the same time, we couldn’t forget about the toll that the global pandemic was taking on the mental health of everyone, young and old.
2020 had us buying more alcohol, socializing virtually, and drinking in our lonely living rooms instead of under the sun on a packed patio outside of our favorite brewery or shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of sweaty strangers dancing to house music in the club.
It even changed how we make ads. For example, most of this ad was shot remotely using phone cameras, laptops, and group video chats.
In the end, our video addressed how DWI might look different in a global pandemic.
Imposed quarantines were, by definition, isolating. While effective in suppressing the spread of COVID-19, the isolation was having adverse mental health effects. Relapses, overdoses, and suicides were all on the rise.
Our approach focused on that feeling of isolation and depression while breaking down the stigma around asking for help.
Fortunately, there has been much broader support for mental health and the New Mexico Crisis and Access Hotline received a notable increase in calls that they’ve attributed to this PSA.
Choices. There weren’t many left for our youth in 2020. They had been forced to learn at home, forced to give up their school sponsored extra curricular activities, and the majority were not given the choice to return to in-person or hybrid learning.
However, there are still choices that teens make every day and, while small in the moment, they have the potential to impact the rest of their lives.
Our approached focused on eye catching visuals to frame these choices that teens make everyday.
Love is a year of working from home with your partner, while your kids go to school in the living room, without going fully insane.
Sadly, this would not be the experience of countless households in the midst of the pandemic. Instead, they would experience domestic abuse exacerbated by the stresses of the pandemic.
In this video, we relied on stock footage to raise awareness that while love takes on many forms over the course of our lives, domestic violence is never a show of love.