The National Depression Initiative (NDI) aims to reduce the impact of depression on the lives of New Zealanders, by aiding early recognition, appropriate treatment, and recovery. It is part of the Ministry’s commitment to addressing suicide prevention, as well as to improving the mental health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders. Funding for the research and development phase of the NDI was made available during 2004/05, and the campaign itself was launched in October 2006.
The NDI framework:
The National Depression Initiative (NDI) is made up of many components, including television, radio and online advertising, health resources, guidelines and workforce development for primary care, phone, online and text-based support services, two websites, and research. The NDI also supports primary mental health service development and the implementation of guidelines for GPs on mental health issues including depression.
One of the most high profile aspects of the NDI is the television advertising featuring ex All Black John Kirwan, and his family. These ads have been very positively received, with the third tracking survey showing that over 90 percent of people surveyed recalled them and the majority were very positive about them. 97 percent of Maori surveyed recalled the ads, and recall amongst young people aged 16-24 years was also high, at 91 percent.
Radio advertisements for Maaori went to air on iwi radio over summer 2006 and 2007.
National Depression Initiative Website
The campaign website has recently been redeveloped and can be found on www.depression.org.nz. The site provides information about depression and where to find help. The new site is more interactive and features case studies of six people talking about their experiences and what they found helpful in getting through depression and managing their mental health afterwards. The intention is to provide a lot more support for people managing milder forms of depression through self-help, and for those in recovery. An online self-management programme fronted by John Kirwan is being developed, with a view to going live later in 2009. This is based on structure problem solving, and John will act as a ‘coach’ for people going through the programme.
A helpline is available for those wanting more information and support on 0800 111 757. The service provides phone support for callers, who can be provided with information about getting appropriate help at a local level if this is wanted. On average, over 50 calls are received each day, with call numbers increasing when the ads are on television. Those callers who are referred to professional support are given the option of being called back to check on their progress, and many people have found this helpful and choose to continue receiving the support.
DraftFCB won two awards at the prestigious DMA International ECHO Awards Competition for its work on youth depression website, TheLowdown.co.nz.
DRAFTFCB (the advertising agency responsible for the advertising) and the Ministry of Health received a gold EFFIE award in 2007, and the NDI campaign also won the Not-For Profit Marketing Award at the NZ Marketing Awards in the same year. The Lowdown youth website was a finalist in the 2008 NZ Marketing Awards.
The Lowdown also won awards at the 2009 Marketing Association’s RSVP Awards, which are the direct marketing and interactive industry awards to celebrate excellence in ‘best-response’ driven marketing campaigns of the year.
Judged by a team of some of the industry’s most well-known experts, it was noted that the entries for the RSVP awards this year were of the highest standard ever. The awards were chosen based on results and the Lowdown was successful in the following categories:
GOLD - RSVP Lead Generation: Campaigns for new or existing products/services that generate responses as leads for follow-up - this was given for the impressive service usage results that have been achieved to date.
Winner - RSVP Craft: Best Use of Interactive Media: Recognising the best delivery of a high quality, creative and innovative interactive media solution. This category is by invitation only where judges individually access each RSVP category and based on their expertise and experience award those that stand out as the single best example of craft quality in that field.
10 Oct 2006: New campaign to beat depression