The goal of the Emotional Support Human campaign is to destigmatize mental health struggles and encourage openness and support for people who experience depression and other mental health issues, specifically people who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color, ages 18-34. Research shows most people know when a friend or family member is struggling conversations stall because of the potential for embarrassment, awkwardness, or lack of experience discussing mental health. As the program entered its second year, the Horizon Foundation approached our team to rethink their campaign.
We started with research. The insights from in-the-moment and focus group interviews led us to develop a campaign that inspires empathy by using a warm, vibrant color palette, organic textures, and relatable stories. Over the course of two years, our team delivered sixteen new animated short videos, a responsive website, an interactive game, and and a suite of social media materials.
Key Results: The 2020 campaign performed 4.2 times better year-over-year than the Foundation’s previous Support Human campaign (in terms of click-throughs from social media and ads to the website).
The new Support Human site invites people develop empathy and support for their loved ones living with mental illness. Navigating challenging conversations is huge barrier for folks who want to reach out but just don't know how to begin. Research after our first year on the project led us to expand the site's offering of actionable tips and scenario-based examples of real conversations. We didn't want to overwhelm our audience with information, so we used interactions and scroll effects to establish a pace that allows time to pause and reveals more content on scroll. Relatable, unique illustrations and animation are woven throughout the site to create a Support Human "world" that people can identify with and feel a part of. I developed the sitemap, content strategy, and wireframes for the site and worked with Webflow designer Sarah Fischer and visual designer Chelsea Xavier.
Interactive Game Design
In 2021, I proposed the addition of an interactive game to the Support Human website. The game gives players an opportunity to practice communicating compassionately through a text message exchange. The game uses conditional logic, powered by a third-party plugin. I designed the game and created the logic flow, and worked with a copywriter and health care expert to develop and refine the conversation copy. Webflow designer Sarah Fischer delivered minor miracles in front end code to deliver a low-budget project with a high-polish feel.
Support Human Manifesto Video
In 2021, we released a program overview video at the Mental Health Film Festival in Maryland. The video is a clarion call to people everywhere who are tired of not acting on their compassion because they're not sure what to do. It establishes a tone of empowerment, strength, and care, and invites people to take a stand by joining the Support Human movement. I developed the concept and storyboards for the video, and worked with video director Chris Hernandez to refine the vision and creative development. Character design was created by Heather Alabado with Sarah Xanthakis art directing, and Nick Terry was the animator.. Over the course of two years, I worked with this team to develop concepts for sixteen new animated short videos that celebrate courage, vulnerability, and acceptance.