Okay to Say

Normalizing Mental Health Conversations

Texas State of Mind (TSOM), as an initiative of the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, wanted to build a social media campaign and interactive website to encourage those struggling with mental health issues to speak out.

Links: https://www.okaytosay.org/

What We Found: Research and Strategy

The Question 

How could Texas State of Mind (TSOM)address the stigma around mental health issues? How could we encourage people to open up?  By fighting the fear of speaking out, could we make it easier to seek help, and convince legislators and decision-makers how desperate the situation is?

The Answer

A public-facing campaign, with a unique name and identity, could begin to foster open sharing and compiling stories. From the safety of anonymity, people could engage or simply observe the conversation. Either action allowed TSOM to collect valuable data about the scope and depth of the problem. We even gathered personal stories and endorsements from celebrities like Emmitt Smith, Mark Cuban, Jose Altuve, and Marlen Esparza to show how extensive mental health issues are.

The Execution

  • Develop and monitor a 120-day social media campaign
  • Launch an interactive website that allowed people to share their name in solidarity or share a personal story (anonymously, if they so choose).
  • Conduct user surveys to adjust and improve in real-time
  • Create a Partner Toolkit

What We Heard: Name, Branding, Identity


Of the five options, “Okay to Say” was unanimously approved by the greater organization.


We knew the logo needed to communicate to all audience types. Across age groups, cultures, genders, professions, the logo needed to be simple enough to appeal to millions.


Our research involved:

  • Consulting mental health professionals
  • Consulting teachers and childhood program developers
  • Extensive color theory to elicit the best response
  • Catering word choice to our various audiences
  • Evaluating existing stigma campaigns, mental health care, and resource providers
  • Gathering statistics on how mental health issues impact Texans

From this research, we developed:

  • Comprehensive voice and tone
  • Bilingual messaging
  • State-wide audience personas
  • Cross cultural color palette
  • Photography guidelines
  • Affiliate brand and promotional guidelines
  • Digital ecosystem strategy

What We Did: Assets


Social Presence



Partner Toolkits and Events

Connecting with various partners was a vital component of this campaign. Perhaps the most exciting is Wezmore, an organization that visits elementary schools and uses songs, skits, and interactive games to develop an awareness of emotions and healthy reactions. We developed a set of materials that could be used by Wezmore and any other partners to promote our common cause. These toolkits included posters, flyers, videos, statistical infographics, and messaging points for press releases

All materials served to co-promote brands, maintain age-appropriateness, and provide resources for parents and teachers.


What We Accomplished: Results


By the Numbers

Name + Brand Identity

  • Involved 15 stakeholders and 6 mental health providers and educators
  • Messaging reached more than 250 counties

Website + Social

  • Designed and built over 120 days
  • Involving 20 in-person users for testing, 300 survey participants post-launch
  • Social media followers topped 5,000 in the first 90 days, and 10,000 after 5 months
  • Site engagement (sign-ups) at 10,000 by 150 days post-launch

Print + Events

  • Grew partnership engagements to 73
  • Extended the Wezmore/Okay to Say tour to cover 54 elementary schools

Are you community-focused, cause-driven, and need help communicating your “Why”?

We should talk.