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Research Questions

  1. Was the Dodgers campaign effective in reaching county residents?
  2. How did the campaign affect knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors?

WhyWeRise is a social marketing campaign conducted by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) to promote community engagement with mental health issues, reduce barriers to care, and increase awareness of how to seek mental health care. LACDMH has partnered with the Los Angeles Dodgers for several years to expand the reach of the campaign to the Major League Baseball team's audience and spread the WhyWeRise messages to the Dodgers' extensive Hispanic fan base—a key county demographic with attitudes toward mental illness that sometimes differ from those of other ethnic groups. The LACDMH/Dodgers campaign focused on awareness of resources and stigma reduction among Hispanic county residents. This report builds on prior RAND work and provides an evaluation of the reach of the 2022 Dodgers campaign overall and a focus on the reach to (and potential impact of outreach on) attendees of 2022 Dodger games.

Results indicate that the Dodgers campaign reached a substantial percentage of Los Angeles County residents: 12 percent of adults and 27 percent of youth reported exposure to the campaign, translating to more than 800,000 adults and more than 400,000 youth reached. The campaign was effective in targeting Hispanic- or Latino-identifying residents, who made up 71 percent of youth who were campaign-exposed and 58 percent of adults exposed. In summary, there is evidence that the Dodgers campaign successfully reached Los Angeles County residents, particularly Hispanics and young adults, and that those reached were more aware of key county mental health resources.

Key Findings

Results of this evaluation indicate that the Dodgers campaign reached a substantial percentage of Los Angeles County residents.

  • Twelve percent of adults and 27 percent of youth reported exposure to the campaign, translating to more than 800,000 adults and more than 400,000 youth reached.
  • The campaign was effective in targeting Hispanic- or Latino-identifying residents, who made up 71 percent of youth who were campaign-exposed and 58 percent of adults exposed.

Survey responses suggest that the campaign increased awareness of resources.

  • The majority of individuals reached by the campaign said that it made them feel that their mental health was important.
  • Los Angeles County residents exposed to the campaign were more likely to be aware of county mental health resources in general and were more likely to be aware of the LACDMH Help Line specifically.
  • County youth exposed to the campaign were eight times more likely to have used the Help Line than those who were not exposed to the campaign.
  • Those attending Dodger games during Mental Health Month reported that the games made them feel connected to community, and more than one in four attendees showed awareness of the broader WhyWeRise campaign.
  • Few of those exposed appear to have experienced shifts in their mental health–related attitudes and beliefs or their own well-being.

Recommendations

  • LACDMH should continue its Dodgers outreach in future years in much the same way but attempt to alter messaging to effect deeper "hearts and minds" changes.
  • The county should continue providing the information about mental health resources that was (apparently) very effectively disseminated through the Dodgers campaign.

Research conducted by

This research was funded by CalMHSA and carried out within the Access and Delivery Program in RAND Health Care.

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