HELPING NEW PARENTS NAVIGATE COMPLEX WATERS
Struggling with mental health in the wake of a new pregnancy is exceedingly common around the world – more so than many realise. We now know that 1 in every 5 mums, and 1 in every 10 dads, suffer from perinatal depression and anxiety. And yet, myths around pregnancy being a time of mental and emotional wellbeing for parents continue to exist.
The ForWhen helpline is a newly minted national navigation service connecting new and expecting parents to non-judgemental mental health support. It was initiated by Karitane, a 100-year-old nonprofit based in NSW that supports parents in the first 2,000 days of their child’s life, based on their deep understanding of the realities of this time and the unmet needs of families and communities.
Karitane approached DrawHistory to brand, launch and promote the initiative, with the intention of sending a message to normalise perinatal mental health and assure all Australians that the new helpline would be a source of ever-ready wisdom for whenever new parents find themselves in need of support.
Insights informed by new parents
To ensure ForWhen could land its messaging, we collected data points from stakeholder interviews, consumer surveys, and a deep dive into literature on mental health for new and expecting parents to ground our strategy in insights.
PROVIDING INVALUABLE GUIDANCE
With a vision to further broaden their impact beyond NSW, the Karitane team secured $9.44 million as part of the Australian Government’s Emerging Priorities Grants Program to pioneer this industry-leading helpline. The far-reaching new initiative started as a collaboration with the Australasian Association of Parenting & Child Health, The University of New South Wales and the Parenting Research Centre.
Initially dubbed ‘Connect & Care’, the helpline was launched in February 2022. It connects parents to timely and relevant care, delivered by a consortium of 13 early parenting, health and family services organisations across Australia.
LEVERAGING THE COLLECTIVE WISDOM
DrawHistory conducted subject matter research and consulted with key sector stakeholders, including lived experience voices, to learn about collective trends and individual experiences, and synthesised key insights into a brand strategy and narrative to reflect what we had heard about the realities of the perinatal mental health landscape and ForWhen’s place in it.
During our collaborative naming workshop, we generated 78 ideas and identified six shortlisted names.
The new name – “ForWhen” – is an expression to address stigma and open the door to progress the conversation forward. It clearly reframes receiving support as a matter of when, not if.
Designing for confidence
ForWhen’s visual identity system reflects non-judgment, acknowledgement of the realities of parenting, and inclusion.
To assure new parents that confident professionals are at the ready to assist, we applied thoughtful colour, mature typography and carefully optimistic, culturally sensitive messaging and imagery. At the centre of the brand is a focus on the parents, without resorting to images of cute babies, toxic positivity, or childish design elements.
We designed a series of brand elements to represent ForWhen’s values, and worked with the Karitane team to refine these to three core elements: Family, Growth and Empowerment. Their variable grid patterns evoke natural and humanistic elements. Deconstructed geometric shapes symbolise the diverse lived experiences of parents and the many service providers connected to the ForWhen network. Finally, the confident yet soft and caring colour palette of forest and lavender hues represents safety, growth and relief.
Always at the ready
ForWhen is already having impacts at the sector level, with Karitane’s thought leadership and commitment to a national service creating a rising tide for organisations supporting expectant and new parents. In an industry that was traditionally siloed by state and organisation, ForWhen has strengthened industry connections, built capacity, increased the visibility and credibility of consortium partners, and helped put a spotlight on the importance of increasing sector-wide government funding.
On the strength of the ForWhen brand and website, the Karitane team secured approval to initiate a centenary rebrand and website for their organisation, which DrawHistory commenced working on in Q1 2022.
Most importantly, the navigation service has contributed to greater public awareness of the prevalence of perinatal mental health challenges throughout Australia, and directly provided assistance to over a thousand expectant and new parents at the time of writing. This is only the beginning.