Background: Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States. African Americans are disproportionately affected owing to systemic and sociocultural factors. Stigma, denial, and inadequate knowledge on depression are significant barriers to mental help seeking. Addressing mental health literacy can improve mental health knowledge, management, and outcomes. West Louisville, a predominantly African American community, is of particular interest regarding mental health literacy given existing socioeconomic and health disparities. Boot Camp Translation (BCT), a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach, enables the translation of medical guidelines into culturally relevant messages.

Objectives: To describe the use of the BCT approach in developing and implementing a culturally tailored health communication campaign designed to measurably increase referral to, and use of, services for depression in West Louisville.

Methods: Using the BCT approach, a group of academics, community members, and health/public health professionals convened over 6 months to develop and implement a health communication campaign on depression. Process and outcome evaluations were conducted using quantitative and qualitative methods.

Results: Our BCT was effective in engaging stakeholders, activating community members, and designing culturally informed health communication materials on depression. Although limited, our evaluation data suggest a modest increase in the evaluation and treatment of depression in West Louisville.

Conclusions: BCT offers a structured process for engaging stakeholders in developing culturally tailored health communication campaigns.