Suicide is the second most common cause of death amongst youth in New Zealand. With suicidal behaviour closely linked to depression the challenge was to encourage youth to engage with and seek help at thelowdown.co.nz – a National Depression Initiative site specifically targeted at youth.
Running a television campaign would help improve awareness, but a deeper level of engagement was needed to save young Kiwis’ lives. This was achieved by matching digital counselling services to their particular digital media behaviour and then overlaying relevant contextualised messages at the times when they most needed support.
The results have been outstanding. All engagement objectives were over-achieved: e-mail usage up 369%, message boards up 255% and text up 46%. With unique visitors to the site increasing on average 209% over the period of the campaign, and awareness of the website increasing almost three-fold, a real difference is being made to youth depression which will ultimately contribute to reducing the overall youth suicide rate.