The Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health has been awarded five ECCO awards as part of SAMHSA’s 2017 Excellence in Community Communications and Outreach (ECCO) Recognition Program.

The  awards went to the institute’s Texas System of Care team. Texas System of Care is a statewide effort to strengthen state and local coordination to ensure the availability of high quality mental health care that is family-driven, youth-guided, community based, culturally-grounded and sustainable.  The team received the following five awards:

  • Twitter post for @dropthestigma campaignStrategy: Partnership Development – 1st Place: Why I Partner with Youth—My Story In Pictures. This project helped youth-serving professionals across Texas understand the critical importance of including youth in meaningful decision-making through authentic youth-adult partnerships. The project helps support the development of youth voice initiatives across the state, including that of ACCEPT, a statewide group of youth and young adults who work together for system transformation.
  • Strategy: Overall Communications Campaign – 2nd Place: #DropTheStigma. In collaboration with a marketing agency and a focus group, the team developed this campaign to reduce misperceptions of mental health issues among African-American adolescent males. The team developed and disseminated print materials to youth-serving conferences and sites and shared digital media on the campaign website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  • Strategy: Awareness Day – 3rd Place: Superheroes for Hope. The team hosted a superhero-themed Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day event in April 2016. The event included a rally at the Capitol, a one-mile march, and a partner resource fair to increase awareness and support for children’s mental health.
  • Audience: Internal Constituents – 3rd Place: Texas System of Care Data Dashboard. This dashboard brings together Texas data on the mental health of children and adolescents from a variety of sources to assist constituents in making data-driven decisions. The dashboard provides easy-to-understand data and is available on the Texas System of Care website.
  • Audience: Children, Youth and Young Adults – Honorable Mention: Rio Grande Valley Anti-Stigma CampaignThis campaign promotes messages of resiliency, hope, and social inclusion for youth and families that have interacted with the juvenile justice system. Jason Wang, a former incarcerated youth, served as a spokesperson for the campaign.

ECCO showcases outstanding social marketing efforts of grantees that build community-based programs incorporating systems of care for children, youth, and young adults and their families. The program also provides an opportunity for grantees to learn from the social marketing efforts of their peers. The ECCO Recognition Program is sponsored by SAMHSA’s Caring for Every Child’s Mental Health Campaign of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program.