Doctor Anywhere and GERMS inject local humour into campaign tackling mental illness stigma

Singapore health provider Doctor Anywhere has partnered with digital agency GERMS to launch a campaign around mental health titled "#NotAnExpert". The campaign sets out to decrease stigma against mental illnesses, as well as highlight the importance of addressing mental issues that people may experience in varying degrees in their daily life, such as stress, procrastination, lack of motivation or self-doubt. The collaboration sees the two companies working together to provide information about mental health in bite-sized pieces to engage the audience in an interactive and accessible way.

The campaign uses relatable scenarios with a touch of local humour to highlight the importance of receiving mental well-being advice from credible sources while working against the stigma of speaking to a professional. In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, a spokesperson from GERMS said it introduced various personas into the campaign to make the approach more down-to-earth and humorous.

The campaign, which focuses mainly on digital channels, kickstarted with a Mental Toughness Quiz which reveals if users are a Chilli Crab, Rojak, or Ice Kacang when it comes to their level of mental resilience. Subsequently, the team at GERMS realised that further education on mental health was needed, and so the "A-Z of Mental Wellness" microsite sprang forth, the spokesperson added. 

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Besides creating a dedicated microsite and mobile app, the campaign also saw an online survey conducted amongst 900 Doctor Anywhere users to understand their sentiments and opinions on mental wellness and online consultations. The findings helped GERMS refine the key messages and identify the target audience for the campaign. 

To amplify the campaign, paid ads on Google Display Network, Google search, Facebook and Instagram will be used to drive traffic to the campaign microsite and app download. Doctor Anywhere will also be promoting the campaign through content marketing via social media, blog posts, email newsletters. The content will touch on topics around mental “wellness” instead of mental “illness”, and focusing on personal development, improving performance, efficiency, and happiness. It will also educate users on clinical terms such as psychosis, depression or disorders. Additionally, Doctor Anywhere will be reaching out via Telegram chat groups to high-risk groups on social media, and holding corporate webinars featuring its mental health experts, according to the spokesperson.

The campaign will run in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and will last until the end of the year. According to GERMS' spokesperson, the local markets will be launching the service with their own panel of locally-licensed mental health specialists soon, along with campaigns to promote the service to the public as well as through corporate channels.

The campaign comes as Doctor Anywhere rolled out an online mental health video consultation service. The service allows users to book therapy sessions over video consultation on the Doctor Anywhere app. The 60-minute sessions can be conducted in the privacy of the user’s own home via calls that are end-to-end encrypted, and patient records are kept confidential. According to the company, the fees for using this service are, on average, 50% lower compared to face-to-face therapy sessions, and the service is also made available to anyone anywhere in the world.

Lim Wai Mun, founder and CEO of Doctor Anywhere, said: “The topic of mental health is still a taboo in our society. We want to provide a safe and accessible environment for people to seek help from psychologists and counsellors easily and conveniently. A virtual platform such as Doctor Anywhere can reduce the psychological barrier associated with visiting a mental health professional, and provide time and cost savings for both the user and the provider."

James Chua, founder and managing director of GERMS said: “More often than not, people suffering from poor mental health either do not seek help, or choose to seek help from non-professional or alternative sources. This campaign seeks to normalise viewing mental illness as a common health condition that people should seek professional help with, just the way they would for conditions that affect one’s physical health, such as the flu or a fracture."

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