A small globe being held up by a hand against a natural backdrop, with the text "You can sit with us," to represent inclusion in mental health marketing.

How Inclusive Mental Health Marketing Builds Safety and Trust

Your ideal clients have one thing in common: they need the treatment you provide. Beyond that, you can’t make any assumptions about who they are. Their entire history of lived experience informs how they’ll respond to the way you talk about addiction and mental health recovery.

With inclusive mental health marketing, you show your potential clients that your center is a safe place for them. Your readers should feel safe on your site, no matter their race, gender, sexuality, age, or ability.

There are several ways you can hold space for a diverse audience: 

Why Inclusive Content Matters

In the healthcare space, diversity improves both treatment outcomes and ROI. Diverse environments foster learning, for your staff and clients alike. And when you publish inclusive content, your program will appeal to a wider audience.

For people of any demographic, addiction can damage self-esteem. Your readers might feel like they don’t deserve basic dignity. Inclusive mental health marketing shows you respect all your clients, no matter who they are or what they’ve been through. That lowers barriers to starting recovery.

How to Create Inclusive Content

Use these strategies to produce content that resonates with a diverse audience:

Take a Nuanced Approach

Language is always evolving. Some of today’s most popular terms were offensive just a few years ago, and vice versa. To avoid offending readers, your work needs to be current and relevant.

Word choice matters. So do grammar and punctuation. Take the words “black” and “Black,” for example. The capitalization of one letter makes a world of difference.

DEI experts agree that “Black” should be capitalized when it describes a race. Marc Lacey, national editor for The New York Times, explains:

“It seems like such a minor change, black versus Black. But for many people the capitalization of that one letter is the difference between a color and a culture.”

Distinctions like this one can make or break your rehab’s relationship with a potential client. Stay up to date with evolving terminology, and update your style guide as needed.

Follow a Style Guide

Every content writer has a unique perspective. They may have personal experience with racism, sexism, homophobia or ableism—or they may be new to the idea of DEI in mental health marketing. An inclusive style guide can support diversity within your team.

With Hone’s holistic approach, we’ll begin by defining your brand’s tone of voice. Then, we’ll create a bespoke style guide that accounts for more specific details. These directives tell your writers how to address:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Sexuality
  • Physical ability and disability
  • Addiction
  • Mental health and mental illness
  • Treatment

…and more.

Recognize Difference

Ignoring difference isn’t inclusive. If you “don’t see race,” for example, how can you possibly see racism?

In rehab, these differences affect your clients’ treatment experience. For example, data shows that women have a higher risk of relapse than men. That fact and others like it could change the way you design your program.

Look for ways to recognize differences without making assumptions. Take another look at the above paragraph. It mentions women, and it mentions men, but it never uses languages assuming these are the only two genders. Sometimes, holding space for diverse identities means saying less, not more.

Be Honest

Transparency removes barriers to treatment. When your readers learn what to expect from your program, they move one step closer to starting rehab.

No program is right for everyone. It’s okay to admit that. Accurate information qualifies your leads, saving time for them and your admissions team. For example, is hiking a central part of your program? If so, treatment might not be wheelchair accessible. It’s better to say that upfront instead of waiting for potential clients to call and ask.

As a bonus, this demonstrates your accountability. When you recognize your limitations, and learn from them, your ideal clients will understand that you’re actively working to provide a safe space.

Hone’s core team is made up of world travelers with richly diverse lived experiences. We have a global perspective on race, gender and the way clients’ demographics impact recovery. We see inclusion as a baseline for high-quality content. In our holistic approach, clients receive bespoke style guides detailing best practices for their brand’s DEI goals as they relate to content.

Connect with us to learn how inclusive content can move your mental health marketing strategy forward.

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