Argus Talks to Teens About Mental Health Help

The latest campaign from the Boston Public Health Commission promotes the importance of communication in helping teens deal with stress and other mental health issues.

Public service announcements, posters, postcards and a Web site are all elements of the effort from Argus Communications. The shop has worked with the client since 2000.

The campaign, according to officials at Boston-based Argus, is designed to remove the stigma associated with mental health issues and encourage teens to talk to professionals about events in their lives that are causing them stress or emotional discomfort.

“We’re really trying to make mental health as important as physical health,” said Zamawa Arenas, principal of the eight-person shop, adding that teens should regard seeing a counselor as normal as seeing a doctor for other illnesses.

One poster shows a caricature of a young man in a baseball cap. Text around the figure reads, in part, “Why should I care that I got a D+ on a history test? Like an A is going to make me feel good? What does it even matter anyway? … Nothing I do really matters.”

Another execution features a young girl; text reads, in part, “Do you really want to know how I feel? No, you don’t.”

Both end with text encouraging teens to talk over their problems and take advantage of the campaign’s hotline, which dispenses resources and information about getting help.

The tag, “Talk. You’ve got to start somewhere,” appears on the posters, which are being displayed in schools and youth centers around Boston.

Similarly fashioned postcards are being distributed to schools, youth organizations and retail outlets that cater to teens, including music stores. Public service an-nouncements are being shown in movie theaters statewide.

Argus, known for cause-related marketing, has created ads for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Tobacco Control Program.