Entering this into ‘lead generation’ may seem an unusual category choice for this completely socially oriented campaign to assist in combating Youth Depression. Of course there were no leads in a commercial sense. But when you consider that one in seven young Kiwis will experience serious depression over the next 12 months – something clearly had to be done. In our minds ‘leads’ translates to the number of youths with whom we have directly engaged on this issue.
The challenge was to reduce the impact of depression on youth by encouraging them to seek help. Young people are difficult to engage, even with issues that interest them, let alone with an issue that they don’t understand.
The solution was www.TheLowdown.co.nz, a leading-edge multimedia website where youth could learn about depression, take a self test, talk to their peers via a message board and receive professional support via free text messaging and email support services. The site also used the appeal of the NZ music industry as a way of proving that depression can affect even high profile musicians and celebrities who shared their own personal stories.
The results have been outstanding. Over 19,000 unique visitors to the site in the first month alone, exceeding expectations by 761%. Lifeline doubled their counsellor capacity in the first week to manage the demand on services. And there have been 17 cases to date where emergency services were contacted to help users deemed to be in imminent danger of serious self-harm.