The Department of Veterans Affairs is committed to helping veterans and their families deal with difficult issues. Anxiety, depression, PTSD, even suicidal behavior are common among veterans and it puts a huge strain on their loved ones. The VA wanted to create a pilot program to inform family members about how to get help for their returning Veteran. Ninth Floor was given the challenge of developing this campaign.
After many interviews with family members and returning soldiers, certain traits and similarities began to appear. Leveraging these commonalities, concepts were created to appeal to family members with an awareness campaign designed to highlight the struggles families face when their veteran has trouble adjusting to life at home. The program was named Families At Ease. A logo and tagline was developed (“Peace Of Mind Is Worth Fighting For.”) Concepts were tested. Materials were created and cost effective tactics and media were identified, including Facebook, cinema advertising, Google Adwords and TV/Radio PSAs. Outreach programs were designed, including clergy programs and outreach to local family readiness support groups using the materials developed.
The initial results of the campaign were great. For Philadelphia, 73 calls were received, 44 coaching calls were completed and 2 suicide prevention calls were received. Feedback from the families was exceptional. And most importantly, Veterans were able to get the support they needed to navigate one of the most difficult transitions they’d ever faced. Today, Ninth Floor personnel conduct ongoing maintenance of the campaign, generating over 240 calls per month.