“Risky Business” And The National Conversation Around Behavioral and Mental Health

Given how divided our country seems on nearly every issue, it should come as no surprise that the conversation around mental health issues in America is splintered. Those in the policy world are frequently on opposite side of issues from treatment professionals. These disagreements could have dire consequences on the American public.

That’s why I found this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month theme “Risky Business” to be  particularly compelling. Mental Health America is exploring the behaviors that can be signs of mental illness or could potentially lead to the development of certain disorders. These risky - but often seemingly normal behaviors - range from marijuana use to the misuse of prescription medication misuse to  gambling to  our obsession with fitness to our crippling dependence on our mobile devices.

Behavioral and Mental Health are so closely intertwined that we need to be able to accurately assess and address these issues in a larger context. These common behaviors are in fact risks for, or indicators of mental health or substance use disorders: Internet addiction can end in larger and more costly gambling or spending addictions and prescription medication misuse has led to our nation’s largest opioid epidemic.

May 2017 is just the start of this year’s national discourse and the first step to driving change.  Companies in the Behavioral Health sector can get involved by leveraging their experts to discuss some of these hot-button topics:

1.     Policy

2.     Public education

3.     Technology as solutions

4.     Revision of insurance practices

5.     Access to treatment, especially for rural and underserved communities

Ditto has experience guiding clients through various aspects of the Mental and Behavioral Health field. Last year we leveraged our clients BringChange2Mind and Newport Academy to create a successful Mindful Allies campaign with Mashable to help fight the stigma of mental illness by sharing real stories of people living with a variety of neurobiological disorders. The weeklong series had more than 2 million impressions, and each content piece was shared about 2K times.

While our clients do the important work of addressing the many needs of the industry, Ditto uses PR and marketing tactics to maximize the impact and exposure their efforts through website restructuring, production and dissemination of campaigns, original content, and interpretation of Washington D.C. policy.