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Helping the Government to empower people across the UK who suffer from anxiety 


The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) support ministers in the UK in leading the nation’s health and social care - to help people live more independent, healthier lives, for longer.

DCX has managed and maintained DHSC’s all-important data and digital communications for over 12 years. More recently, DCX worked across a major behaviour change project ‘Better Health – Every Mind Matters’, an NHS-endorsed programme and digital resource designed to empower adults to take action to protect and improve their mental wellbeing.

Every Mind Matters ‘Mind Plan’ encourages people to generate a personalised action plan and sign up to a series of advice emails. After running this for three years, DCX noticed declining sign-ups, conversion rates, and penetration of key at risk audiences (lower socio-economic groups and also younger audiences and single parents). At the same time, DHSC noticed a high volume of Google searches for anxiety-related terms and an increase in traffic to the anxiety pages of the Better Health – Every Mind Matters website.

So, we recommended a new approach with a single focus ‘challenger’ campaign that would address these issues, focusing on the topic of anxiety. We worked closely with the behaviour change marketing team at DHSC to design and develop a new and successful anxiety-easing email programme that would address these issues.


‘Mind Plan’ email programme covers a broad range of mental health topics. As part of our strategy to drive sign-ups, we proposed the new programme included:

  • The sign-up shelf being situated on the anxiety page of the website, so people would find it naturally when arriving at the website by searching for anxiety terms in Google.
  • Practical tips and advice to help with anxiety symptoms.
  • A human, friendly, non-judgmental voice – avoiding clinical terms and jargon.
  • Appealing to all socio-economic groups and being realistic about their capacity to engage.
  • Emails that focused on a single theme and worked as a sequence of self- help steps.
  • An easy way to sign up - calm and uncluttered emails that won’t overwhelm / create anxiety.
  • More interactive content and videos and less copy.
  • Sign-posting extra clinical help for those who need it.
  • Addressing the cost-of-living crisis, which is now recognised as a major anxiety driver.

It was vital that the newly-designed programme focused on how to ease the symptoms of anxiety, was easy to join, and was accessible to all – especially those who wouldn’t normally engage with the subject of mental health. Incorporated within our strategy was the behavioural economics technique of chunking (breaking down tasks into simple, guided steps). We reasoned that this would:

  • Lower people’s cognitive expenditure and make it easier to take the information on board in a more relaxed manner
  • Not overwhelm – by providing choice restriction
  • Increase people’s confidence / make them feel in control
  • Make finding success with the overall programme seem more attainable

The campaign DHSC ran to promote Every Mind Matters played a vital role in captivating and engaging the right audience. DCX were equally keen to ensure that the strategy, implementation and technology used allowed the deliverables to be created, tested, and deployed accurately. We used Apteco’s PeopleStage Software, and Acoustic Campaign Manager as the lead email service provider to deploy the communications.

A key objective of the campaign and programme was to create and evidence behaviour change, and to do that we needed a best-in-class data visualisation tool. We used Apteco’s Orbit tool to create dashboards to provide the client near real-time access to monitor the delivery of KPIs and engagement metrics. This implementation allowed DHSC to measure and monitor the success of the campaign as it unfolded.

We tested different programme options, to assess variables such as the number of emails sent and the duration of the programme. The approach contained a maximum of three content elements per theme to reduce overload, all focusing on practical, real-world advice. Priority was given to practical-steps video content that people could try right away from their device. The agreed themes for each email were:

We also clearly communicated that the programme was made up of a series of steps, so that people were prepared and kept a look out for each step to stay on course. This informed the campaign proposition and ultimate creative wrapper of ‘Easing your anxiety, one step at a time’.

After creating the theme pillars and building the wireframes, we curated and reframed existing content, creating illustrations and images to accompany each email and tip. We then built the full journey from initial acquisition blocks on their website through sign-up to all emails.


of registrants suffered from anxiety, meaning it reached the right people


noticed a positive change in the way they feel because of the anxiety programme


of those who completed the programme saw a decrease in their reported levels of anxiety


The newly-improved programme delivered incredible results – changing the game for anxiety suffered by people across the UK.

  • The programme reached the right people - with 84% of those who signed up significantly suffering from anxiety.
  • 80% of people noticed a positive change in the way they feel because of the anxiety programme.
  • 55% of people reported that they were experiencing lower levels of anxiety than at the start of the programme.
  • 32,445 total registrations.
  • Email open rates averaged at 64% and click-through rates at 13%. These are 200-300% above industry benchmarks, suggesting that subject lines and pre-headers effectively encouraged engagement.
  • 6% of people opened all programme emails, and over 4 in 10 people opened 5 or more anxiety programme emails.
  • Appropriate penetration into lower socio-economic groups and also younger audiences and single parents.

Through this initiative, DHSC was able to reach and engage the right people more efficiently, ensuring that those who were suffering from anxiety got the help they needed. DHSC also saw an appropriate level of representation for ‘most deprived’ in the lower socio-economic segments, also bringing in younger audiences and single parents – proving that the campaign was successful in making mental health support more accessible to these audiences.

Do Behaviour Change. Better.