Real’s Refreshing Take on Mental Health Copywriting

Mental health copywriting requires sensitivity, but that doesn’t have to mean dry and dejected. Find out how wellness platform Real uses calming copy and tasteful humor for much-needed levity.

Real revolutionizes mental health copywriting.

For decades, therapy has been associated with images of chaise lounges, bespectacled men with beards, and stuffy, wood-paneled offices. As therapy has become more commonplace and less stigmatized, however, these associations are starting to change. More and more people are partaking in therapy sessions from the comfort of their own homes and finding creative ways to make their well being a priority.

Mental health platform Real couldn’t have launched at a better time. With self-paced modules and events, Real makes it easier for people to check in with their mental health—for a fraction of the price of traditional therapy. The company’s already ingenious concept gets a major boost from a well-crafted copy strategy. If your mental health copywriting is in need of a twenty-first century refresh, take a hint from Real and follow the pointers below.   

For high-converting copy and content, get in touch with MarketSmiths today.

Prove you’re with the times 

For millennials and Gen Zers, mental health is no longer a taboo topic: it’s something to discuss and explore openly. As the stigma around mental health declines and the prevalence of mental health issues rises among young people, it’s becoming a bigger priority, too. These conditions, as well as the copious amounts of time Gen Z and millennials spend online, have made them the obvious audience for Real. 

But Real doesn’t take their audience for granted—nor should it. Young people want to know the concerns unique to their age group and experiences will be taken into consideration by any mental health service they use. Real signals this with their unique approach to mental health copywriting. Texting abbreviations on Real’s website like “WTF” and “IRL” mirror the ways millennials might respond to a friend or comment on a TikTok video, signaling that their team can relate to their audience. 

While this shorthand could easily come off as cringey or gimmicky,  Real pulls it off through sparing use and by combining it with copy that feels genuine and sincere. On the About page, for instance, Real explains the brand’s guiding mission: “At Real, we’re working outside of the traditional system, giving you the tools before you reach crisis, helping you cultivate a stronger relationship with yourself, and providing you with care you can feel proud of.” Already Real feels like an ally: here to help the best they can. And help is the key word, as they emphasize that they’ll also empower you to support yourself.

Apply a consistent brand voice across channels 

Real’s clear, simple language is perfect for making a complicated topic like mental health less daunting and more welcoming: “Real is a new kind of mental wellness membership, designed to fit your schedule, comfort level, and needs.” Instead of sending website visitors running with talk of copays and intake forms, Real makes getting started feel quick and easy. This is reinforced by the company’s internal nomenclature for therapy modules, which they call “pathways,” evoking calming, reflective strolls through the woods.   

Simple and warm language coupled with modern, fun internet references make for a distinct brand voice that’s easily replicated across channels. A look at their Twitter page confirms this. In one post, Real paired a video of a crab wiping sand off its eyes with the body copy “when you finally let yourself have a good cry and actually feel okay afterward.”  While cute and fun, posts like these are interspersed with more serious topics that preserve Real’s brand integrity, like specific steps for taking a successful break from social media, sprinkled with emojis to keep things from feeling too serious. 

If you’re thinking about following Real’s lead and using some online lingo, be sure to exercise restraint. While texting abbreviations and emojis can welcome young audiences, they can also be less effective when used in excess. Real uses them very sparingly and thoughtfully to lighten the mood.    

A major healthcare firm found a way to connect with patients

A $4 billion healthcare firm was undergoing a major rebrand—aimed at expelling medical jargon and connecting with patients on a personal level. None of this was easy. Time was short, and the company included over a dozen hospitals, each with its own brand vocabulary. But by crafting a comprehensive 13-page style guide, we quickly got everyone onboard, even across 2,200+ pages and 35+ websites. Pretty soon, we helped Advent Health publish thousands of words of incisive, human copy—distinguishing them in a crowded field and getting patients comfortable on their healthcare journeys. 

> Read the full case study here.

Meet folks wherever they’re at 

Real’s messaging isn’t exclusionary. The company has marketed itself as a membership for anyone:  “It’s way too common for mental health care to feel like it’s for other people: people with more money, better insurance, bigger problems, worse symptoms, different everything. But mental health care is for everyone—including you.” Its team is pitching “a mental health care experience that meets you where you’re at.” 

Real’s offerings are about lowering the bar to entry for mental health care. Its mental health copywriting succeeds because it’s in perfect alignment with this mission. Instead of jargon or complex language, it opts for simple, short phrases and lighthearted humor. It’s just as easy to read Real’s website as it is to start using the service. And, most importantly, it’s for everyone: they’ve made mental health care more inclusive than ever before.  

Need a hand writing mental health copy that’s sensitive and smart? Contact MarketSmiths Content Strategists for copy that speaks to any audience and meets every moment.

Anne Paglia

Anne Paglia

After dabbling in journalism, communications, and science publishing, Anne found her way to MarketSmiths. When she’s not writing, this New Jersey native is likely spending time outdoors or expounding on the importance of the Oxford comma.

More from MarketSmiths

Content Marketing

Strategic Mindsets – Part 1 of 3: Content Marketing

Casual-yet-caring tactics helps JetBlue retain—and grow—their audience, even in the midst of a global emergency.

Sky-High Ambitions: How JetBlue Uses Cheery Travel Marketing to Fly High

A bored man resting his head on his hand

Can your “Boring” Company have Edgy Web Copy?

Fitbit is a brand that keeps running through your mind.

How Fitbit Convinced 28M Users That Fitness Is Fun

Inc 5000 content agency

M/WBE certified enterprise.

Design by WorstOfAllDesign. Digital Strategy by MadPipe. Photography by Chellise Michael.