Social Marketing Campaign Plan to Address Mental Health in Young Men

Social Marketing Campaign Plan to Address Mental Health in Young Men


This work presents a social marketing campaign plan to address mental health in young men. It starts defining the problem to solve and justification of the severity. Most Men do not report or share stressing issues which later turns into deep mental issues. This report will focus or provide a detailed plan which contains the best interventions, resources, and timeframe to help such men deal with stress and also avoid the negative behaviors when stressed.

Stage1: Scoping

Problem Statement

Mental health in men is increasing and leading to more problems like self-harm, Alcohol, and other drug abuse. Most men do not report cases of depression, stress among other mental difficulties leading to too much accumulation. They only available choice to relieve the pressure is self-harm or taking drugs to forget about it. According to Marsh (2017, par. 2); Kaess, Brunner & Chanen (2014, 7), some of the men are going to the extent of harming their bodies in the process of trying to attain size and shape which the society described as excellent.  The reason why they keep silent on the problem is partly because of cultural teachings on masculinity and somewhat because they do not get access to mental health services (Wang et al., 2013, 42; Seidler, 2016, 107). There is, therefore, need to have a campaign that helps the men to understand where they can get mental health services, change their behaviors of keeping silent when they are depressed, and change the act of self-harm.

The seriousness of the Problem

The rate of mental disorder in the United Kingdom is high standing at 16 million people. About 25 percent of all citizens in the UK experiences mental illness in their life (McManus et al., 2016, 4). Out of the whole population with mental illness, the largest share affects young people. In the UK, suicide is among the leading causes of death in people below 35 years (Marsh, 2017, par 3). An approximate 1660 people below 35 years committed suicide in 2015, which was an increase from 1557 in 2014. According to the Office National Health Statistics England (2018, par. 5), 12 percent of all young people between the age of 5 and 19 years were depressed in 2017. Also, the number of males who commit suicide is three times more than that of women.  Blumberg, Clarke & Blackwell (2016, 7), notes men between the age of 18 and 35 years are facing more life challenges and therefore likely to develop stress. In 2013, there was 78 percent of men committing suicide while that of women was 22 percent (Marsh, 2017, par 3).

Specific Mental Health Problem and the Desired Change Behavior  

The mental disorder which the campaign will address is anxiety. It is defined as a constant overwhelming feeling of fear and worry resulting from different situations. The campaign will focus on the tension that develops due to normal life challenges in young men including rejection from peers, relationship partners, lack of employment, poor performance in school among others.

The campaign will aim at changing the thinking of the target group on the impossibility of issues in life and therefore take issues from the positive direction. Worry comes when the young men think that there is no breakthrough in their challenges like getting a job. The group has not learned the art of patience. The campaign will, therefore, be targeted to change their thinking which will, in turn, help them avoid anxiety.

Also, the campaign will focus on behavior change which results from anxiety. Sometimes it may be hard to control worries even when a person has a positive mindset. Most men will self-harm themselves due to heightened anxiety as a way of solving the problems. The campaign will be looking at how to help them adopt better behaviors when faced with such a situation. The aim in self-harm behavior change is to make young people assume the act of talking their issue out with other peers, parents or metal counselors.

Target Audience Profile

The problem statement guides the section on selecting the target audience because it provides general information about mental health on where, how and to whom it is occurring. Below is the profile for the chosen target audience.

Men– The problem statement states that the problem is more in men. According to Morriss, Kapur, & Byng (2013, 4573), young men face a lot of challenges because of the role the society expects them to play. The community places men in a situation to think that they are the future of their families and therefore they have to work hard. With the minimal jobs in the community, men have to struggle, and in the process, they meet with many challenges which lead to stress and other mental disorders. Also, self-harm cases are more in men and therefore employing a social campaign on the group will benefit society more.

Age, between 18 and 24 years- the reason for selecting men at this age is because first, the studies have shown that self-harm behaviors are occurring more at this stage. It, therefore, follows that having a campaign specifically for the age group will solve a strong problem form society. Another justification for the age group is that men at the stage are discovering themselves and have a lot of needs from physical to emotional. It means that they have an area in which the social marketing campaign can concentrate on to attract them (Corcoran, 2015, 975). The men at the age are looking for relationships, jobs, advancement in academics among others. Most of the needs are based on social status which means that a social campaign can attract them and make an impact. Also, it is at this age when the mental disorders at birth like Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) start to manifest.

Educational level: Post-secondary– those men beyond secondary school level have an idea of mental disorders, how they occur and the effects. The School has exposed them through social group discussions, workshops in colleague among others. However, most of the young men want to have a sober mind, but they are unable to succeed using the available strategies. A social campaign will be useful for them since they are willing to change their behaviors which lead to stress and they already understand some of the processes towards change.

Economic status-medium to very rich– rich people had a lot to think and decided because there is many to do all they may wish. Also, they interact with may subject from alcohol, relationships which may lead to stress and other mental disorders leading to self-harm. Targeting this group provides the campaign with enough audience. Psychiatric disorders in humble people are not high since they tend to be contented and with minimal engagements.


Literature review and Field Experience on Interventions (Theory)

The Fogg Behavior Model (FBM)

This campaign bases its ability to change behaviour and offer a solution to the target group anxiety under the FBM. The model provides for behaviour to succeed, there has to be a motivator, the person must have the ability to perform the action and that the act needs a trigger to occur (Mogles et al., 2018, 5). The three factors to a behaviour guide the social campaign whose aim is to replace the negative behaviors of the young people including self-harm, lack of patience and negative thinking with positive ones. The theory, therefore, creates a framework which the team will use to ensure effective behavior change. It informs the team first to motivate the target audience, position them present enablers to change behavior and use a trigger to achieve the desired character.


model offers three categories of motivation which includes pleasure/pain, hope/fear and social acceptance/ rejection (Mogles et al., 2018, 5). The three categories will inform the form of interventions to use in the marketing stage mix. They have a set of reward and penalties of a different kind depending on the type of behavior that a person targets to change. Hope will work for the young men to give an assurance that there is hope in life and therefore they should take it positively. Also, social acceptance motivation will work by prescribing behavior that will increase the social acceptance of the target group.


In the ability factor, the theory provides that for a behavior to occur, the subject must have the ability to perform that behavior. One assumption of the approach under capacity is that people are generally lazy and therefore, behavior change can only be possible when a person promotes the strength of the target (Mogles et al., 2018, 5). The theory outlines the following factors that can lead to the high ability of the goal to change behavior; time, money, physical effort, brain cycle, social deviance and non-routine.  The factor guides the social campaign by providing an insight into the tools which the team will have to carry. In the case of this campaign on mental health and related behaviors, the important enablers include time, money and not-routine. This stage of the model informs that the campaign will succeed because most of the young people have time and the selected group has money. However, the team will create more time for the target and provide financial support to increase the ability of young men to change behavior.


Triggers according to the model are those elements which remind a person about a behavior. They help to create a routine and therefore, the person forms a character of long-lasting conduct from regular reminders (Mogles et al., 2018, 5). The factor informs the social marketing campaign to have reminders of behavior change. These triggers are addressed in the marketing mix stage although it’s worth to mention some of them including media messages to remind the young on the importance of taking life positively.

Marketing Intervention Mix Strategies


The campaign will educate the target group about anxiety to enable them to realize when they are anxious or evaluate whether they have ever been anxious. Definition of the mental disorder is essential to the target audience to help them understand in details about the topic and bridge any communication barrier between them and the team. There are several other mental disorders which may be affecting the target audience, and it would be better for them to know the specific problem the team will be addressing. The team will also be educated on the results of anxiety and the dangers it presents. It is the first stage in motivation as described in the FBM. Learning that their condition is known and has a solution will give them hope and therefore motivate to change.


Support represents the enablers in the FBM model. Behavior change as described in the theory section requires that the target can accommodate the desired behavior (Mogles et al., 2018, 5). The team will offer support to the target audience in different forms. The support will include helping the young people create social networks within themselves and with other people outside the group like investors who can help them in different situations like when they need employment, finances for school fees or services of a friend to talk to and relieve anxiety.


The team will also control the current behaviors of the subjects towards the desired ones. This stage involves triggers as described in the theory stage to remind the audience on the prescribed right conduct in the education and support stage.

The 4Ps


One of the product for the campaign which the team will use is detailed information printed in fliers explaining what anxiety is, its adverse effects as well as how people can control it. The target audience is educated, and therefore written report will be of help. Most of them do not understand that what they go through is a disorder, anxiety and therefore do not think that there is a solution through counseling. The product will benefit those who will not have enough time to attend the workshops as well as serve as a reminder. The team will also offer replacement therapy like bupropion and Varenicline for those who are smoking (Walker et al., 2018, 2). The product will reduce the price of stress after leaving the habit and therefore sustain the new behavior. The team will monitor the participants throughout as they take the replacements until they are stable.

Another product will be psychologist and psychotherapist’s services. Most of the target audience who the campaign targets are already hopeless with life due to the effect of stress and anxiety and ready to do anything including to harm themselves (Mens, 2016, 3). Counseling them first will help them concentrate on the workshops. Also, the product will serve as a practical example of the kind of behavior the team desires. Those who have severe conditions will get one on one counseling while those who may not have deep stress will get the product as a group. Contracted counselors will visit the homes of the most affected people through guidance from the local administrators. Although the community might not like the idea of men sharing their problems, the outcomes will be encouraging to create a positive attitude on the program and therefore save the participants (Gordon, 2013, 1528). The counseling is a reliable product that will attract the target young people to the program (Edgar et al., 2017, 94). Advice acts as a brain cycle enabler as stated in the ability level of the FBM (Mogles et al., 2018, 5). It lies under the hug behavior change interventions since there will be no charges for counseling.


One of the venues to offer counseling will be in institutions of higher learning. Most men in the institutions face challenges like in relationships, exam fails as well as school fees issues. The team, with permission from the administration, will organize the sessions with the help of the student leaders and patrons. Another venue is home of the most affected persons. The team will have a one on one counseling and deliver education to the subjects about anxiety. Another place is social media where most young men are frequent visitors. The team will hold discussions on social media groups of young men as well as post counseling messages, video and voice clips. Another place for the campaign will be at the hang out areas of the target audience more so near shopping centers, clubs, football grounds among others. Such a position is right to meet those who are thinking to drink alcohol or take drugs as a remedy for stress.


Time is one of the most common and high prices that the participants will have to pay. They will need to set time for counseling, attending workshops as well as solving their daily life issues as advice from the sessions. Another price will be money to access some of the therapeutic products which might be expensive for the team. However, the group will sponsor part of the cost. Another price will be physiological which includes stress from smoking avoidance. Lack of tobacco will make most of them feel stressed as they adapt.

The participants will also pay the price of perseverance from pressure led by social groups to drink. There will also be the cultural price to pay where men are not allowed to talk about their issues. They will have to preserve as they experience rejection from the culture because of showing that they are weak because they were not able to solve their issues. The team will also have extended hours at the club to meet and identify those who refuse to go back home because of worries about the problems they will encounter. Such people are the primary targets because they are going through stress. Extending time will be a good strategy to identify those who need services of behavior change and counseling. Extending time also makes the team more accessible by those men who might fear that other people will see them during the day.


Promotion mix will apply for all the three marketing interventions since it will be advertising the whole campaign giving venues, dates, main activities as well as those required to attend (Tapp, & Spotswood, 2013, 207). It will be carried out through the media, posters as well as text messages. The promotional messages will aim at showing the young men how beneficial the campaigns are through enhanced life. There will be audio, and video clips run in the various media with testimonies of the young men who will have changed their lives through the campaign. The messages will attract more men not only to attend the workshops but also follow the guidelines that the media will display on behavior change. The campaign will also employ moving tracks to announce the next venue and as they issue out t-shirts and huts with the campaign messages to make the information spread in the whole society. Such gifts will attract more young people to the workshops.

Behavioral Intervention Mix

The campaign will use Hug and smack interventions to address the right behaviors in the subjects. The foundation of using the two interventions lies in the Fogg Behavior Model that advocates for a push towards change. People may be willing or unwilling to change although, in both instances, they require motivations.


Hug provides a positive motivation toward behavior change. It involves rewarding people to motivate them towards desired behaviors. In the campaign, the desired response is the one where the subjects talk to their peers, counselors when they have anxiety or stress that may lead to self-harm actions like suicide or taking alcohol. The campaign will issue specific contacts of counselors whom the participants can visit whenever they are stressed. Those counselors will have contacts of the campaign team to share the details of any of the young man who seeks their services. In turn, the team will look for that person to reward them according to their needs. The rewards will be personalized so that they will not only be motivators to continue seeking for the services but also to help them in the problems leading to anxiety.

The rewards include money for those in financial needs leading to problems in their relationships or challenges in paying bills and school fees. Those with difficulties in getting jobs, the reward will be sponsorship to seminars and workshops to improve their skills so that they can become competitive in the job market. Other prizes include job offers to where the campaign team, having sponsorship from the government and other companies will influence them to offer the subjects with working positions. The rewards will make more young get attracted to seeking help when stressed as well as avoid stressful situations.


Smack is a motivation to inform of penalties to discourage certain behaviors whose alternatives are the desired characters. The campaign will punish those who hug has not worked. The punishment will be prosecution for those who are self-harming themselves in different ways like attempting suicide, and they end up injured, those taking alcohol in odd hours as well as the prohibited drugs like bhang and cocaine. The prosecution will lead to fines, short term imprisonment or social work. Other young men will see what their fellow men are going through in paying those fines, or working in the society and therefore look for different ways of changing their strategies of solving stress and anxiety. Also, those affected by the prosecutions will learn a lesson from the punishment and therefore decide to seek other strategies of solving their problems. The alternative way to relieve stress apart from self-harm is sharing with other people which is the behavior the campaign is advocating.

Prosecution strategy is possible because the law prohibits people from self-harming, taking their own life or taking drugs like cocaine which the stressed young men take. Also, there are specific hours which a person should take alcohol. The strategy to prosecution will involve the police as stakeholders in the intervention. There will be follow up on those members who access the campaign to change their behaviors to identify the participants who fail to improve within two weeks of getting the messages and training. The team will make follow-ups on those who continue to attempt self-harm or abuse drugs to obtain evidence and hand it over to the police to take the matter from there. However, after the charges whether fine or social work, the team will make follow up on individuals to support them in their process of adapting to the new behaviors which they settle on.

Stage 2: Testing Stage and Report

The whole plan will undergo a pilot test to find out the areas which need adjustments. The pilot study will take two months and carried out on a population of not more than 20 subjects. The results from the survey will be used to make adjustments on the marketing mix, prepare a time frame as well as the budget for the primary campaign.

Stage 3: Enact- Plan for the Implementation of the Program

Program time frame and critical milestones

The program will take 16 months. In the first two months, the team will carry out piloting and adjustment of the interventions. In the following three months, the team will offer an education product to the target group. Subject support will follow and take the next five months. Next will be counseling for four months and finally getting feedback from the participants and preparation of the report. The time distribution is as shown on the Gantt chart below.

Intervention Move by Month
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16  










Resource allocation to elements of the intervention and marketing mix


Element Resource
Product Psychotherapist, counselors
Price Time 16 months, commitment
Place Halls and transport vehicles
Promotion Roadshow vehicles, posters
Information Counselors and finances
Support Psychotherapist counselors and financial resources


Evaluation and monitoring plan

The department heads will monitor the activities of their team to compare with the initial plan. Also, they will evaluate the ability of the program to meet the objectives and make necessary changes.

Stage 4: Learn and Act

Evaluate and report

Reporting to the sponsors, stakeholders, partners, and audiences

All the stakeholders will get a regular update of the plan through emails. Audiences will get reports through meetings and follow up workshops. The final report will be availed to all participants and supporters.

Review and build of learning to the next wave of implementation

The team will analyze the whole project at the end to find out areas where they can make adjustments. The report will include areas of change in the marketing mix as well as the concentration of the target audience. The report will also provide adjustments on time frame and budget to ensure the effectiveness of the next campaign.


This work aimed at coming up with a plan of a social marketing campaign to address the issue of mental health and related behaviors. It started by identifying the target as young men between the age of 18 and 24.  The approach to address mental health in young men will impact because of its actuating element. The plan constitutes a therapy counseling, education, and intervention for the target audience. The primary objective of the campaign is to change the behaviour of failure to seek mental health services and self-harm in young men.


Reference List

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