In 2020, the National Institute of Mental Health estimated 52.9 million adults in the U.S. were living with mental illness. Unsurprisingly, spending on mental health services and treatment has also grown. One study found mental health spend topped $225 billion in 2019, up 52% from just ten years ago.

These numbers make it clear that healthcare organizations can - and should - implement effective marketing efforts to help connect patients with much-needed mental health resources.

Here are three ways you can use marketing to support your community's mental wellbeing.

Reduce the stigma around mental illness

Historically, anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges were spoken about in whispers and kept private. However, the collective anxiety and depression most Americans experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity to discuss mental health more openly than ever before.

Even if your organization is not a behavioral health practice, take opportunities to shed light on mental health where appropriate. Recent trends show that patients appreciate conversations with their healthcare providers about how mental health can impact overall physical health.

Take a multi-channel approach

A common misconception is that mental health conversations need to take place with only certain types of providers under specific contexts. Consumers, especially in younger generations have shown that visible conversations around mental and physical health are important, from every provider on every platform.

A multi-channel marketing strategy will meet potential patients where they are. Highlight messaging around the different types of care available, including telemedicine, outpatient treatment, and inpatient services.

Create a profile of your potential patients and a marketing strategy that covers a blend of traditional and digital tactics specific to their preferences.

Spotlight providers

When asked why they didn't seek help for mental illness, 28% of respondents said they lacked confidence in mental health treatment. One effective way to build trust among potential patients is to spotlight specific providers at your organization. Key messages should include experience, philosophy of care, and evidence-based treatment methods.

Encourage your providers to have frank, open dialogue with your potential patient base about the impacts of mental health, and the benefits of seeking treatment.

The future is bright

Help continue the conversation around mental health and connect patients with the care and services they need. Contact CMG Health Marketing and create a marketing strategy that's tailored to your patients' needs.