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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Department of Health and Human Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

Last Updated: 6/22/2012

SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)


Say it out loud
Chicago, Illinois

Start Date

Brief Description
Launched on May 1, 2008, Say it out loud public awareness, engagement and education campaign was developed to increase awareness of mental health as a vital component of our overall health and well-being and motivate sustainable change in behaviors that promote good mental health. The campaign was developed and launched by the State of Illinois, Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health, and The Illinois Children's Mental Health Partnership supported by a network of more than 30 organizations. May is traditionally known as Mental Health Awareness Month, but on May 1, 2008, Illinois Governor Blagojevich proclaimed May 'Say it out loud' month in Illinois.

The Say it out loud campaign is based on current research indicating that the best way to reduce the discrimination associated with mental illnesses is via the contact approach, by interaction through which people can engage with one another on this subject in a truly meaningful way and share their experiences and knowledge.

Say it out loud reframes mental health as a key component of our overall health and well-being by raising the subject in a non-threatening way that is both empowering and informative. It creates both 'virtual' and real contact opportunities-with people who have mental illnesses, as well as medical and mental health professionals, family, employers, colleagues, neighbors or friends. It transmits reliable and valued information through the media, the Internet, advertising, word-of-mouth, and through the ?stories? that are the essence of the campaign.

Visually, the campaign is represented by photographs of people wearing T-shirts that tell their stories of mental health promotion or recovery. Other people in the photographs are wearing Say it out loud T-shirts that will be available to the public for purchase. These images will be used to share stories about mental health on posters, in advertisements and other printed materials.

Due to the recent launch of the campaign, results are not available at this time.

To learn how you can promote good mental health visit, or call The Illinois Mental Health Collaborative for Access and Choice toll-free Consumer and Family Care Line: (866) 359-7953/(866) 880-4459 TTY.

For further information on the Say it out loud campaign, contact Katherine Rush, Senior Communication Director of Metropolitan Group; 35 E Wacker Drive, Suite 1750, Chicago, Illinois, 60601-2208; 312-628-1452;


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This Web site was developed under contract with the Office of Consumer Affairs in SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. The views, opinions, and content provided on this Web site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS. The resources listed in this Web site are not all-inclusive and inclusion on this Web site does not constitute an endorsement by SAMHSA or HHS.