Nov 14, 2018
The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health recently undertook a community engagement campaign that sought to increase awareness of mental health access as a civil rights issue and increase civic engagement. The WeRise/WhyWeRise campaign was composed of a website (whywerise.la); social media outreach through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; and, as its centerpiece, the WeRise event, an immersive experience in downtown Los Angeles in which visitors were exposed to an art gallery, rally, performances, panels, and workshops. To evaluate how well the campaign met its goals, RAND conducted an in-person survey of WeRise attendees; a social media analysis of Twitter conversations related to WeRise/WhyWeRise, mental health, mental illness, and well-being; and a web-based survey of a broader population of Los Angeles youth in the age range targeted by WeRise/WhyWeRise.
Overall, the evaluation found evidence that the WeRise/WhyWeRise mental health campaign had impressive reach into the Los Angeles community, with one in five young people exposed to the campaign in some way during the brief period examined. There is early evidence that the campaign might be associated with positive outcomes, such as increased supportive and understanding attitudes toward people with mental illness, awareness of the challenges people with mental illness face, knowledge of how to get help for mental health challenges, and, importantly, empowerment and mobilization toward activism around mental health issues.
Survey of WeRise Attendees
Analysis of "Mental Health" Tweets in Los Angeles County
Survey of Los Angeles County Youth
Discussion, Recommendations, and Conclusion
Los Angeles County Survey Outcomes by Campaign Exposure