CASE STUDY: Public Health & Wellness

Maryland Behavioral Health Coalition

Campaigning to “Keep the Door Open”

Overview


For years, Maryland’s public behavioral health system has suffered from stagnant budgets and increasing demand, jeopardizing access to mental health and substance use disorder services. Since 2014, The Hatcher Group has worked with the Behavioral Health Coalition, which is made up of more than Maryland 40 nonprofits, on the “Keep the Door Open” campaign, with the goal of raising awareness and rallying support for behavioral health funding.

PROJECT SCOPE

Design & Creative
Digital Strategies
Event Planning & Execution
Media Relations
Messaging & Branding
Policy Outreach
Strategic Communications
Video Production

Our Strategy


The Hatcher Group developed a compelling campaign strategy and messaging to tell the story of why Maryland needs increased behavioral health access. We designed a website for the campaign and created a new logo. We also developed a social media campaign with a unique hashtag (#KeeptheDoorOpenMd) and built a significant following to expand the campaign’s reach. Every year since 2014, we have helped organize and secure media coverage of the Keep the Door Open Rally in Annapolis, which annually attracts hundreds of participants. Over the years, we have placed high-profile opinion pieces in the Baltimore Sun and secured favorable media coverage of the effort to maintain and increase behavioral health funding in the budget.

Our Impact


  • Helped pass bipartisan state legislation, such as the 2017 HOPE Act, to increase funding for community health providers and combat the state’s opioid epidemic
  • Designed print materials and a social media toolkit that helped to back the ultimately successful effort to restore state funding for behavioral health services in 2020. Though the state’s initial budget recommended cutting this funding in half, by the end of the 2020 legislative session all $50 million for behavioral health services had been returned to the budget.
  • We helped organize and secure media coverage of the Keep the Door Open Rally in Annapolis, which drew more than 400 advocates in 2020
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