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State funds media campaign to foster mental health and addicition awareness

Nicholas Ciolino
Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long speaking in Christiana Mall

The state is funding a media campaign to bring awareness to Delaware's mental health and addiction issues.

Delawareans can expect to see brochures, posters, and other signage at businesses, public spaces and places of worship across the state with the message “mental health and addiction can affect everyone; no one has to struggle alone.”

The campaign will also include ads for print, radio, Spotify, and social media.

“We are going to be having not only the print items that you’ll see when you go into restaurants or the bathroom at the bar,” said Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long. “You’re going to see clings and mats on the floor and windows. You’re going to be at the grocery store hopefully and you’re going to see information talking about your mental health or addiction issue.”

Hall-Long chairs Delaware’s Behavioral Health Consortium, which set aside $175,000 in its annual budget to fund the media campaign through the end of June.

The state contracted Aloysius Butler & Clark for the job. The ad-agency previously produced anti-tobacco and colorectal cancer screening campaigns for Delaware—touting a 38% increase in the African-American colorectal cancer screening rate one year after the project’s launch.

Director of AB&C’s Behavior Change Division Alex Parkowski says the latest campaign seeks to break negative stigma and connect people who struggle with mental health issues and addiction to the needed resources. She says it also seeks to show these issues transcend categories like race, sex and age.

“Within the different messaging you’ll see a range of different types of people from a loving wife who’s a senior VP, a teen mom who’s battling alcoholism, to a family jokester, a hardworking dad who’s struggling with anxiety disorder, to a volunteer who is an architect and he’s dealing with depression,” said Parkowski.

The campaign signs include mental health hotline information and display the state’s addiction treatment website,

The overdose rate in Delaware has steadily risen for the past six years to the fifth highest in the nation. More than 400 people died of suspected overdoses in the First State in 2018.

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