Windsor –Essex: The Canadian Mental Health Association-Windsor Essex County Branch (CMHA-WECB)and Douglas Marketing Group have been recognized with a Platinum Hermes Award for the recently launched Sole Focus Project campaign(www.solefocusproject.ca).
“CMHA Windsor-Essex has recognized a community need and is dedicated to ensuring we provide our community with support by bringing mental illness into focus. This required removing the stigma of mental illness and creating a community that is well-informed with tools to improve the lives of families in Windsor-Essex”, says Executive Director Claudia den Boer.
The organization knew they needed a strong campaign to bring mental illness out of the shadows and get the community talking. The Sole Focus Project, recently launched, has accomplished this feat by attracting widespread attention, prominent partners and most recently, a major international marketing award.
The international Hermes Creative Awards, judged by representatives of the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, recognized the Project with a Platinum Award in the Integrated Marketing Campaign category. The award is for a campaign that is able to maintain top creative quality across several different mediums, both online and offline. CMHA-WECB worked with a recognized leader in healthcare and fund development, Douglas Marketing Group (DMG) – a Windsor-based advertising agency – to create the campaign which topped thousands of other entrants in the international competition.
According to Kim Willis, Director, Communications & Mental Health Promotion at CMHA-WECB, the organization wanted to engage the community in establishing a legacy fund to help secure critical programs and services for years to come. “Mental wellness has always been our sole focus, but it was time to enlist the people of Windsor-Essex to join in the conversation. DMG designed the Sole Focus Project campaign with a key focus and catalyst to develop community ambassadors and partners, creating a collective win. It was clear the idea would resonate with the public and get them to take a stand for mental health. The award is wonderful and so have been the outcomes of the outreach.”
She also noted that the mark of a good campaign is that people are asking how to get involved. Willis pointed to the broad public support as well as partnerships with community leaders. “This community is unlike any other in supporting programs that benefit our community. The campaign keeps mental health as the sole focus while reaching out to the community for awareness, engagement and support for ongoing sustainability. Being internationally recognized for the campaign and creative is further evidence of that passion and winning perspective that is the heart of Windsor-Essex”, says DMG President, Kay Douglas.
Willis highlighted the importance of keeping the momentum going to ensure ongoing support for education and training programs. These types of services are essential in shifting the tide of mental health stigma and aren’t fully funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
CMHA is a key community partner for wellness and mental health. Their mandate is to provide programs and services that educate people on how to recognize, address and find a path for support. Mental illnessaffects1 in 5 people and is often a hidden disease.
“The Sole Focus Project will allow us to empower greater transitions to wellness and help make Windsor-Essex a mentally healthy community,” Willis concluded.