People need help. More than 50 million Americans have mental illness, and more than half of them don’t receive treatment. That means millions of people either don’t realize how unwell they are, are trying to manage symptoms alone, or both. For many people, it means searching the internet for answers to why they feel the way they do and how they can feel better. That’s the importance of mental health marketing. Mental health marketing helps people in need find your treatment center and leads them to the healing they deserve.
What is Mental Health Marketing?
Mental health marketing uses traditional marketing strategies and tactics to connect people with the wellness services they need. These services may include outpatient therapy, addiction treatment, or residential care.
The key to responsible mental health marketing is recognizing the potential vulnerability of the people looking for help. So, mental health marketing done right connects people with resources while helping reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness.
“Promoting mental health services requires us to have a unique blend of empathy and understanding of the impact language can have on someone who is potentially in crisis. It’s our duty to create engaging content and bring new visitors to our clients’ websites, but also to ensure our strategies prioritize the well-being of their audience.”
Mental Health Marketing with Content Journey
At Content Journey, mental health marketing means using content marketing to reach people who need your wellness message.
Content marketing is sharing valuable content in different forms through various channels to help the audience answer questions or solve problems.
Content marketing includes:
- Website content, including product or service pages
- Blog posts
- Lead magnets, like workbooks, graphics, or e-books
- Social media promotion
Perhaps most importantly, it includes using SEO content marketing best practices to guide people who search online for answers to your website. About 4,400 people search for “mental health treatment” each year. Strong SEO content marketing will help them find you.
How Mental Health Marketing is Different
Here’s the current problem with mental health marketing as we see it. Too many agencies are just applying traditional marketing practices to mental health like any other business selling any other product or service. But the stakes are higher in mental health care.
Our Content Director Kenna Griffin, who has a Ph.D. in journalism with a focus in mental health, said:
“When it comes to mental health services, you aren’t selling a 50-cent Bic. You are fighting against stigma so people who may be hurting get the information and help they need. People’s safety, wellness, and their ability to live the lives they deserve are in the balance. It’s not something to take lightly or be flippant about. Not understanding the importance of mental health marketing and its uniqueness can cause further harm.”
Some ways mental health marketing is different:
- Focus on Sensitive Issues. Mental illness and the symptoms accompanying various illnesses are sensitive issues that people often want to keep private. Mental health marketing has to recognize these sensitivities and avoid compounding them.
- A Vulnerable Audience. Many people who seek information on mental illness are vulnerable. While some may be managing their symptoms well, others are in severe distress. It’s vital to meet them where they are with helpful, realistic guidance.
- The Need for Expertise. All marketing focuses on providing information, but mental health marketing requires helping educate the audience on causes, symptoms, and treatment of health-related issues. This need means that not everyone is qualified to do this type of marketing.
- A Unique Tone. Mental health marketing requires a careful tone that doesn’t exploit or harm the people looking for help. This tone means making expert, cautious word choices and selecting sensitive visuals. Mental health marketing can lead people further away from seeking help if the tone is accusatory or shaming. It also can set up unrealistic expectations of healing if it’s too flippant.
Ethical mental health marketing is a critical skill. It fosters trust, displays transparency, and empathizes with those seeking help.
The Importance of Mental Health Marketing
With the high stakes, it’s easy to see why some mental health professionals might want to steer clear of marketing mental health services. After all, if you truly understand the importance of mental health marketing, it can seem like something you don’t want to trust to others. The problem with this way of thinking is that people need exposure to information that leads them to seek wellness and improved quality of life. That’s the overwhelming reason mental health marketing is critical.
Other reasons mental health marketing is vital:
- Awareness. Mental health marketing can increase awareness about mental health issues, helping people seek the help they need while also educating others and reducing stigma.
- Resources. Sometimes people know they need mental health assistance but aren’t sure where to turn. Some people even try to get help and have negative experiences that make them move further away from treatment. Mental health marketing lets people know that there are options out there. It connects them with all types of mental health resources, including therapists, support groups, online information, and hotlines. This information can lead people to help and empower their loved ones to present them with options.
- Early Intervention. All it takes is planting a seed. That one thought that, “Maybe what I’m feeling is anxiety,” can lead a person to seek treatment that helps prevent more significant symptoms or greater mental health concerns.
- Promoting Well-Being. Mental health marketing can focus on more than treatment. It also can promote well-being by encouraging a nutritious diet, movement, stress reduction, and self-care. Prevention is a huge component of a well world.
Strategies for Mental Health Marketing
Mental health marketing is important because it can improve mental health outcomes, reduce stigma, and promote overall well-being. So, how do you go about marketing mental health?
The answer to this question is where mental health marketing mirrors all other types of marketing — it depends. Exactly how to market your mental health services depends on your unique situation. It’s all about what your clients need and how you fulfill those needs.
Strategies our treatment center clients find effective include:
- SEO Content. SEO content writing that’s informative and shows up in search results leads many people to help. This content can include blog posts, service pages, videos, and downloadable information like workbooks or handouts.
- Email. Email marketing helps you stay in contact with people who request information about your services. It allows you to share helpful information on a regular schedule and stay top-of-mind for when or if they need further assistance.
- Testimonials. People want to see that other people succeeded through your treatment. Anonymous testimonials from former clients are a great way to reduce the uncertainty of taking the next step toward treatment.
- Social Media. Whether you’re running ads on social media to meet a short-term goal or sharing content from your website there, social media can be a great way to distribute messages to an audience already gathered there.
Why Content Journey is the Choice for Mental Health Marketing
Now you understand why your wellness service needs mental health marketing, and you also know that the key is finding a partner you can trust for this critical task. Just like you wouldn’t go to a veterinarian for surgery, you shouldn’t trust your mental health marketing to just anyone who understands marketing.
You need a marketing agency with mental health expertise. Content Journey is just that. I have a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling, so partnering with Content Journey means you have a clinician who understands the nuances of wellness guiding your strategy.
Our content director, Kenna Griffin, has a Ph.D. in journalism with a research emphasis in trauma, psychology, and organizational behavior. That means every piece of content you receive from us is edited and reviewed by a mental health expert.
At Content Journey, we care about people, which is reflected throughout our core values. We use our expertise in content marketing and mental health to expose you to the people who need your help. It’s our mission to partner with you in your journey to a well world. Contact us today to get started.