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Mental Health Month Outreach Ideas for Community Organizations and Schools

Where to Start

Organize a community run or walk, plan a screening event, and more ideas for how your organization or school can spread the word about mental health.

What community organizations can do

  • Organize a community run or walk for mental health (these can also be done virtually). Reach out to your local media for assistance in promoting the event. Email your partners, family members and friends, donors, and local officials inviting them to participate.
  • Host a mental health screening or other educational event at a local venue (e.g., town hall, firehouse, church, mall, or library). Have computers or tablets available for people to go to Make sure to have a printer so people can print their results. If an in-person event isn’t possible, host a webinar or Facebook Live event.
  • Team up with other local mental health and wellness organizations to host a community meet and greet.
  • Plan a pop-up art or music event to raise awareness with community members and the media.
  • Work with local businesses or municipalities to light up locations green, the official awareness color for mental health.
  • Collaborate with local and state legislators to plan an advocacy event and encourage advocates, consumers, concerned citizens, and community and business leaders to discuss your community’s mental health needs with policymakers.

Want to organize a community-based event but unsure where to start? Contact your local MHA affiliate to discuss ideas or collaborate.

Planning a mental health event

What schools can do

Host a Q&A with a mental health professional: 

  • Invite students to write anonymous questions about mental health conditions and how to take care of their mental health. Have the school counselor answer the questions and have teachers read answers to the class.
  • Choose a topic and host an “Ask Me Anything”-style chat online for parents with a clinician or representative from your local department of behavioral health. Promote the event and invite participants to ask the expert any questions they have regarding mental health.

Share stories and information:

  • Ensure your students are aware of and know how to access available resources.
  • Include mental health as part of the conversation in alumni newsletters, department-wide communications, student life, and social media.
  • Direct people to MHA’s Mental Health Month toolkit, in your messaging for the month.
  • Host mental health monologues. Invite students to submit anonymous stories to be performed by student actors – or the individuals themselves – at an assembly or record them and share the video.
  • Lime green is the official awareness color for mental health – coordinate a day, such as a spirit day or “paint the school green” day, to celebrate and honor mental health awareness.

Take a mental health test

Online screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition.

Download toolkit

Download our 2024 toolkit for more ideas and resources for Mental Health Month.