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Founder’s Story Brings Purpose to Award-Winning Mental Health Work

Most everyone knows someone with mental health struggles, and Glen McDermott is no different. While in his mid-twenties, living in Sydney, Australia, he became close with a family that lived on a big ranch in Queensland. Glen would often visit, helping them wrangle the cattle by day while singing and playing guitar around the campfire at night. His fond memories of this classic outback existence are linked with tragedy, however. This clever, creative family of artists and photographers, over a span of 15 years, revealed an insurmountable relationship with depression. One by one, four out of five of them took their own lives.

“It was a wake-up call for me that most everyone we know is dealing with stresses we don’t know about,” says McDermott. “If I can inspire just one individual who isn’t feeling right to take action and get help, that’s a personal victory I can take some comfort in.

Public Health Intervention

As founder and CEO of Red Rock Branding, he’s keenly aware that his marketing team can make an impact at scale. Whether with words, graphics, podcasts, or animation, the firm’s tools help bring about effective public health intervention. Red Rock’s mission is to build brands with purpose, upholding a vision of Healthy People, Healthy Planet.

In fact, twice in the past 12 months, the agency has been recognized nationally for its work to improve mental health. Red Rock received Gold in the 2024 AVA Digital Awards competition and Gold in the 2023 MarCom Awards competition, for its work on Clear Answers to Louisiana Mental Health (CALM), a public awareness campaign to reduce the duration of untreated psychosis in the New Orleans area. Both awards are administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP), the industry’s preeminent third-party evaluator of creative work.

CALM Campaign for Mental Health

The campaign for CALM included a refreshed logo, website (, native advertising, billboard advertisements, social media, and community outreach. It aimed to improve psychosis education, debunk myths surrounding psychosis, and spread the message that early treatment improves outcomes. In addition, the campaign informed the public that specialized treatment for psychosis is available, specifically in the New Orleans Area. It also showcased the community CALM has built, welcoming more individuals to join and become allies.

The results: eye-catching transit ads, social media ads, and social media postings – Facebook, Instagram, X (Twitter), YouTube – grew and engaged the community In addition, the marketing efforts contributed to significantly reducing the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) in the New Orleans area, from 15.5 months before the launch of the campaign to 6.3 months, a 59 percent decrease. For more information on CALM’s psychosis campaign, visit here and watch a video on results here.

“Stigma can often be a barrier to people getting the help they need, and this campaign has helped to change that, says McDermott, who encourages everyone to look around their family, friends, and community to see how they might be that bridge to someone’s health. “We aim to boost community health and wellness in everything we do, so we’re thrilled that our innovative content is making an impact.”

Award-Winning Work 

MarCom Awards is an international creative competition that recognizes outstanding achievements by marketing and communication professionals. There were over 6,500 entries from throughout the United States, Canada, and 47 other countries. Winners are selected from over 300 categories in Print, Web, Video, and Strategic Communications. 

AVA Digital Awards is an international competition that recognizes outstanding work by creative professionals involved in the concept, direction, design, and production of media that is part of the evolution of digital communication. Work ranges from audio and video productions, social media sites, animation, blogs, podcasts, and other forms of user-generated digital communication. 

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