2016 Mental Health Awareness Week is October 2-8th

There is a toolkit with valuable resources that can be customized to raise awareness in your community and help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health challenges. Download the 2016 Mental Health Awareness Week Toolkit .

The toolkit includes:

  • Social media guide filled with ways to help you promote mental health awareness on your social channels
  • Editable posters you can customize in PowerPoint to include your logo and local event information


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 World Suicide Prevention Day is Sept. 10. We would like to share a toolkit that has been developed for Suicide Prevention Week with useful materials that can assist you in planning activities and events in your community.

Below are some ideas to help stimulate planning for the week. All of the materials outlined below can be downloaded here:  Suicide Prevention Week Toolkit 2016

The Know the Signs (KTS) campaign is an effective way to promote suicide prevention in your community. RAND findings (released in May 2015) show that the Know the Signs campaign has been effective in reaching its goals and that the public dollars have been well spent. This may serve to encourage others to use the materials as a cost-effective best practice.

  • See the Know the Signs Campaign Toolkit Catalog to view all suicide prevention materials and resources that are available for free download.
  • Share the tip sheet for ideas to use statewide resources to augment your activities and communications around Suicide Prevention Week and beyond.
  • Share this drop in article “Suicide Prevention is Everyone’s Business” that can be customized or used as-is, for placement in newsletters, blogs and local media.
  • Post and tweet! Use these pre-written Facebook and Twitter posts and integrate these graphics:

Refresh yourself on some helpful guidelines when posting about suicide prevention on social media.

Participate in the Suicide Prevention Week Email Campaign and encourage others to do the same.

A flyer to promote Suicide Prevention Week and daily challenges.  

Stigma is the Great Silencer

Every day men, women and children, who are suffering from Mental Health challenges, go to great lengths to keep that a secret from others. Fear of what people will say about them keeps them silent. Fear of what people will think of them, and in some cases fear of what people may do to them reinforce the feeling that they are alone and there is no hope.

Stigma Keeps People Isolated

Room4Everyone is a mental wellbeing campaign that encourages compassion and acceptance. As people we are different, but as a community it is critical that there be room for everyone despite those differences.

It's Time to Talk About it

The fact that in any given year One-in-Four Americans meets the criteria for a diagnosable mental illness means that we all know someone who may be suffering. It may be a co-worker, classmate, friend, or family member. One-in-Four means it very well could be one of us. When someone we care for is experiencing mental health challenges, multiple people are affected. For this reason when we talk about mental illness, we are not merely talking to the One-in-Four. This is a conversation that is critical for four out of four people.

We wear the lime green ribbons to invite conversations about Mental Health and to let others know that not only does Mental Health Matter, but its ok to talk about it! The best way to break the stigma is to talk openly about mental illness and share stories of hope and recovery. 

Myth vs. Fact

Myth: People with Mental Health problems are dangerous and should be avoided.
Fact: The vast majority of people with Mental Health problems are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. Most people with mental illness are not violent and only 3%-5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness. In fact, people with severe mental illnesses are 12 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population.

Myth: People with Mental Health needs, even those who are managing their mental illness, cannot tolerate the stress of holding down a job.
Fact: People with Mental Health problems are just as productive as other employees. Employers who hire people with Mental Health problems report good attendance and punctuality as well as motivation, good work, and job tenure on par with or greater than other employees.

Myth: There is no hope for people with Mental Health problems. Once a person develops Mental Health problems, he or she will never recover.
Fact: Studies show that people with Mental Health problems get better and many recover completely. Recovery refers to the process in which people are able to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities. There are more treatments, services, and community support systems than ever before, and they work.

Myth: I can't do anything for a person with a Mental Health problem.
Fact: Friends and loved ones can make a big difference. Only 38% of adults with diagnosable Mental Health problems and less than 20% of children and adolescents receive needed treatment. Friends and family can be important influences to help someone get the treatment and services they need by:

Reaching out and letting them know you are available to help

Assisting with access to mental health services

Learning and sharing the facts about Mental Health (especially if you hear something that isn't true)

Treating others the way you would want them to treat you