#FreeYourMind – NHS

improvement in engagement
0 x
engaged with our call to action
0 %
link clicks from content
engagement from BAME residents
0 %



The brief

The first COVID-19 lockdown presented the NHS with many challenges, including managing the impact of new safety measures and behaviours on mental health. NHS South East London CCG recognised the risk of rising mental ill-health during lockdown early on, and wanted to inform residents when and how to self-manage and when to seek specialist help to cope with any concerns they may have.

We were briefed to help raise awareness of, and engagement with, relevant NHS mental health services. We needed to educate and engage vulnerable and seldom-heard audience groups – and help them get to the services they needed during the lockdown. And we had to deliver at pace.


The #FreeYourMind campaign was one of the CCG’s most successful campaigns and is now widely recognised as an innovative results-oriented campaign by NHS teams across the UK.

  • We delivered up to 4.5x improvement in engagement, at 2.3% overall campaign engagement and 3.7% engagement across key social media channels, compared with typical campaign benchmarks
  • 54% engaged with our key calls to action, driving more than 25,000 clicks from our campaign content to our microsite
  • We engaged with seldom-heard groups, including 44% engagement from BAME residents (from a mean BAME population of 39%)
Global social media awards finalist 2021
PRCA DARE award finalist 2021
PRCA Digital Awards 2021 Winner


We delivered a behaviourally-informed platform awareness campaign during the first UK lockdown, highlighting available mental health services and support for residents in south east London. 

We conducted a series of consultations to understand what specific actions were needed to drive behaviour change. We prioritised audiences, analysing and diagnosing behaviours, and provided insights on their decision-making. In our behavioural diagnosis, we reflected on capability, opportunity and motivation barriers, as well cognitive biases, that were stopping these audiences from accessing mental health services.

We used these behavioural insights to develop a strategic communications strategy, setting measurable objectives.

Our platform awareness campaign simplified the user journey and created a more effective choice architecture (the decision-making environment for our audiences). Powered by behavioural science, we reached and engaged our audiences online and on channels they were using, driving them to investigate the help that was available.

Specifically, we:

  • Created a user-friendly online hub where resources and services were made available – eliminating unnecessary hassle or friction for our audiences
  • Created segmented landing pages targeted at each audience group
  • Created (and tested) behaviourally-informed content that resonated directly with each of our audience segments and drove them to action
  • Produced a cost-effective social strategy to reach and engage our audiences on channels they use, with relevant, targeted messages, segmented by age
  • Drove traffic to relevant resources on partner websites, such as sign-ups to mental health and wellbeing apps

This campaign is a UK Social Media Awards 2020 finalist and won Silver in the Data-Driven category at The Public Service Communications 2020 Awards.

This case study was written by Shayoni Lynn, Director at Lynn PR.

I was really pleased to be able to deliver this project and see the impact that it had on our residents – many of whom took action for the first time to look after their mental health and wellbeing.

Lynn PR’s data-driven approach led to incredible results as it enabled us to really get to know our audience and what resonates with them. Initially the two week test phase seemed a bit much as we were keen to get on with the campaign but I am so glad we did this as we gained so much valuable insight which enabled us to adapt and maximise the impact. Also, running the campaign in bursts enabled us to continue to learn and refine.

Russell Cartwright
Assistant Director of Communications & Engagement at the CCG