Humankind delivers care to approximately 1900 service users across Durham City, Bishop Auckland, Horden and Consett. The service supports a significant number of service users to recover each year. Interventions range from short term behavioural change, group work and clinical prescribing support.

This significant campaign and marketing strategy needed to increase audiences knowledge and understanding, to support them to make informed decisions about their long-term health and wellbeing related to non-opiate drug use. The campaign also needed to encourage self evaluation and behavioural awareness, whilst challenging perceptions and the stigma linked to drug use in order to minimise harm.

Encouraging self reflection

In order to tackle this very topical and complex issue, Sail worked closely with Behavioural Psychology Consultants ‘Psych-Logical LTD’, to ensure the process was fully informed and backed up by behavioural theory and expertise. The success of long-term positive behavioural change is determined not by telling a person that something is unhealthy or unsafe, it is to help promote self-reflection, identifying what needs that behaviour meets and how else that need can be met through alternative, healthier, behaviours. Needs and value systems drive behaviours, therefore the campaign needed to appeal to those universal non-hierarchical needs, promote self reflection and challenge internal self perceptions. 

To achieve this and gain first hand insight, Sail and Psych-Logical LTD facilitated focus groups and conversations with the Humankind team and their clients with lived experience. The sessions enabled us to co-create and craft the story and messaging in an engaging, real and relatable way, whilst also creating a sense of optimism and hope to motivate and inspire people to make healthier choices and ultimately reduce the harm of non-opiate drug use such as Cocaine, Ketamine, Ecstasy and MDMA. 

Sharing Collective Experiences

Inspired by a focus group exercise whereby people cut out images based around the values, collective experiences, objects, and people that make up their personal world. The campaign leads with recognisable and beautiful images photographed in and around County Durham. The locations, which were selected by the focus group attendees, placed the story right on the target audiences doorstep, the reinforced the message by making it personal whilst removing any stigma by avoiding the typical ‘anti-drug campaign’ imagery often seen reflecting individuals affected by drug use. 

The core campaign message ‘Drugs can flip anyone’s world upside down. Let’s turn it around. Together.’— taps into a wider relatable message that drugs can have a negative impact on every part of anyones life. The leading images of Co Durham encourage a positive viewpoint whilst helping to communicate that Humankind can offer support and provide audiences with a route to recovery and harm reduction and work towards being Happier, Healthier and Harm Free.

A huge thank you to the Humankind charity team, clients and focus group attendees whose experiences, stories and valuable insights helped to shape this campaign. 

As part of the campaign, the Humankind focus group developed a guide to being Healthier, Happier, Harm Free. The downloadable booklet features 40 practical tips and pieces of advice written by people with lived experience of drug and alcohol issues who have accessed support from County Durham Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service and turned their lives around. With their words, they hope to support you to also become Happier, Healthier and Harm Free.

Link to Humankind campaign landing page

Campaign collaborators: Sam Matthew Laverick, Danielle Brough, Laura Rothwell, Lou Willis-Keeler and Alex Wright

SAIL developed a strong planning and consultation process, which importantly involved the people we support and their ideas. The campaigns that were subsequently created met our brief well and had real creative flair. They were attentive and responsive through each stage and we’re looking forward to evaluating the campaign results.

JackKeery, Media & External Communications Manager at HumanKind