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193 Five years on: how a regional help-seeking behaviour-change campaign achieved long-term impact
  1. Carolyn Loton1,
  2. Melissa Neal2
  1. 1Juntos Marketing, Camperdown, Australia
  2. 2Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network (PHN), Wagga Wagga, Australia


Context In Australia 7% of all hospitalised injury cases are due to intentional self-harm.1 In parts of the Murrumbidgee area, suicidality, self-harm and alcohol use requiring hospitalisation are significantly higher than national and NSW averages.2

In 2017, Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network and Murrumbidgee Mental Health, Alcohol, Other Drugs Alliance commissioned an integrated communications campaign to encourage help-seeking behaviour and reduce stigma around mental health, drug and alcohol concerns. Since 2017, the campaign has been widely seen, continuing to resonate across the region.

Sustainable Development Goal 3: Health and wellbeing

Process Quantitative insights and co-design (people with lived experience, carers, high-risk sub-groups, broad population) informed initial design and strategy.

The communication approach has been continually refined based on infield metrics and feedback.

Analysis From 2017–2019, increases were reported in prompted awareness of local phone-support services 22% to 47% (n=75), unprompted awareness of relevant services 18% to 36%, calls to the local triage line and visits to head-to-health website from the area.

Over the five years since 2017, relevance and campaign longevity were achieved through building partner collaborations, consistent messaging and wide promotion. Social media has been highly successful, the most recent burst achieving over 3,500 clicks/engagements.

Outcomes Campaigns using insights, collaborative community involvement, clear messaging and strategic execution can be effective over many years in helping reduce stigma, building awareness and increasing help-seeking behaviour.


  1. Pointer SC 2019. Trends in hospitalised injury, Australia 2007–08 to 2016–17. AIHW.

  2. AIHW National Mortality Database, ABS Causes of Death, Australia 2021.

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