Cover: Evaluation of Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health's 2020–2021 L.A. Dodgers Mental Health Campaign

Evaluation of Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health's 2020–2021 L.A. Dodgers Mental Health Campaign

Published Apr 6, 2022

by Rebecca L. Collins, Nicole K. Eberhart, Elizabeth Roth, Ingrid Estrada-Darley

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Research Questions

  1. Who was reached by the LACDMH/Dodgers campaign?
  2. How was the audience reached by the LACDMH/Dodgers campaign?
  3. What was the campaign's impact? That is, how did the Dodger fans perceive campaign messages, and how did those who were reached by the campaign differ from others in terms of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors related to mental illness?

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 along a continuum from self-care to professional treatment services, reduce barriers to care, and increase awareness of how to seek mental health care. In 2020 and 2021, LACDMH partnered with the Los Angeles Dodgers 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 2020 and 2021 Dodgers campaign overall and a focus on the reach and potential impact of outreach to attendees of 2021 Dodger games.

Key Findings

The campaign with the Dodgers reached a substantial percentage of Los Angeles County residents

  • Between 11 and 14 percent of adults reported exposure to the campaign depending on the year.
  • The campaign was effective in reaching Hispanic residents and, in 2021, young adults.
  • County residents were primarily exposed to the campaign via social media, radio ads, and ads on the Dodgers' website.

The majority of individuals reached by the campaign found it beneficial, in that it made them feel supported and 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, were 50 percent more likely to be aware of the LACDMH website and LACDMH Help Line specifically, and were three to five times more likely to have used the website and 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 the community and helped them heal from stress, and one in four attendees showed awareness of the broader WhyWeRise campaign.

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

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