As HDB continues its second year, one question has endured: How do we expand our reach?
HDB is no stranger to outreach. We’ve been at resource fairs, community events and block captain meetings. We do presentations to different organizations around Delray Beach. We have even hosted our own activities to invite Delray Beach residents to join us.
But how do we reach those who aren’t there? All of these events and meeting have a common thread – people who are involved in their community tend to show up. But how do we reach everyone else?
What we’ve done…
- Social Media
Social media is everywhere in today’s society and with that, the idea that it’s not just for linking people anymore. It can be for companies, restaurants, and initiatives like HDB. The way social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have integrated pages that you can “like” with people you can “follow” or “friend” has made social media one of the most important ways we can speak with our volunteers and residents.
With the hours on end that people spend on social media, it means that we have a platform to give information and have conversations without them having to go anywhere else.
In the past year we’ve gained hundreds of followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We’re reaching more people of all different backgrounds. We’ve posted resources, information, and events that not only are spreading the word about behavioral health topics but also keeping people engaged with their community.
We’ve also developed a monthly email newsletter.
Focused on one behavioral health topic a month, here we can give sepcific information and statistics while also introducing residents to their local resources via our “Partner Spotlight.” Keeping people connected this way means that they will have an arsenal of information stored for whatever topic interests them or affects their life.
What we’re doing…
Social media and email are wonderful but they can be limiting. There’s a finite amount that you can or “should” say in a social media post – for example, 140 characters – and email can only be so long.
So, we needed a space to give more in depth information. Thus the new HDB website was born.
This website will give people a better look into who we are and what we do and, hopefully, make them want to get involved with us. It will give them anonymous access to behavioral health resources and organizations. It will give young people a place to go where they can talk openly among peers (Teen Life in HDb). Having a standing website that brings all our other outreach efforts to a center grounds residents who want to be a part of HDB or who just need help.
- Connecting with paper
Technology and the internet are great, but for a lot of people it can be isolating. Computers can be confusing and complicated. So, with all our great online resources, we’ve also created a printed brochure.
By using this more traditional form of outreach and information sharing, we’re ensuring that we reach everyone in Delray Beach, not only those with computers. And with plans to include Creole within the brochure, we’re also including a population that may feel even farther isolated.
Connecting the community
Deepening a community means bringing people from different backgrounds together – to learn, to share, to connect. By using a variety of outreach and information sharing, we’re expanding our reach to more people with the hopes of connecting all people across Delray Beach (and beyond).