Impact of a Media Campaign for Disaster Mental Health Counseling in Post-September 11 New York

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Psychiatric Services (Impact Factor: 2.41). 10/2006; 57(9):1304-8. DOI: 10.1176/
Source: PubMed


After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the New York State Office of Mental Health (NYOMH) initiated a three-phase multifaceted, multilingual media campaign that advertised the availability of counseling services. This study evaluated the association between patterns of spending within this campaign and the volume of calls received and referred to a counseling program.
Spending on television, radio, print, and other advertising was examined, as was the corresponding volume of calls to the NetLife hotline seeking referrals to counseling services.
From September 2001 to December 2002, $9.38 million was spent on Project Liberty media campaigns. Call volumes increased during months when total monthly expenditures peaked. Initially, flyers, billboards, and other material items accounted for most monthly expenses. Over time, spending for television and radio advertisements increased, whereas other advertising declined. Temporal patterns show that in periods after an increase in media spending, call volumes increased independently of other sentinel events such as the one-year anniversary of the attacks.
Sustained advertising through multiple media outlets appeared to be effective in encouraging individuals to seek mental health services.

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