The Community Guide (complete PDF ) contains all of the information, support and tools that community members need to implement "Talking About Mental Illness"
in their community -- an awareness program proven to be effective in bringing about positive change in young people's knowledge
about mental illness, and in reducing stigma that surrounds mental illness.
The program brings together local community partners, including youth; people with mental illnesses and their family members;
clinicians; teachers; and mental health and other agency representatives. Together, they develop and organize an educational
awareness program hosted by local secondary schools.
The program provides secondary school students with the opportunity to hear the stories of community members who have experienced
mental illness. The program also provides information about local mental health-related resources that provide support and
help to youth coping with their own or a family member or friend's mental illness.
PDF of the complete Community Guide
Table of Contents
PDF of Table of Contents
Acknowledgments / PDF
Introduction / PDF
Background to the Program
An Overview of the
Who is this guide for?
How do you use it?
What's in the guide?
Part 1: Information about the Program / PDF
Rationale for the Program
What is stigma?
Why do we stigmatize mental illness?
How does stigma affect people's lives?
Overview of the Program
Why an awareness program?
How does the program help to eliminate stigma?
What does this program offer young people?
What are the goals and objectives of the program? 10
For Further Reading
Part2: Getting Started - PDF only
2.1 Bringing people together
Forming a planning committee
Broadening the base of participation
Tips for getting started
2.2 What's next: Your group's first questions
Covering the basics
Naming your program
Planning for action
Specific tasks for your group
Keeping it going -- Sustaining people's enthusiasm
Tips for building and maintaining your group\
For further reading
Template for creating a list of community resources
List of places to look for donations of resources
Part3: Getting the Word Out - PDF only
3.1 Promoting your awareness program to schools
Selecting a strategy
Establishing a relationship
Tips for promoting your program to schools
3.2 Promoting your program in the community
Reaching wider audiences
3.3 Promoting your program with the local media
Creating a press release/community announcement
Tips for working with local media
For rurther reading
School information survey
Sample letter to a school
Sample press release
Sample public service announcement
Part4: The Presentation -PDF only
4.1 What do we know about effective awareness presentations?
Focusing on the experiences of people with mental illness and their families
Preparation and follow-up activities
4.2 Guidelines for successful presentations
Tailoring the presentation
Supporting the presenters
Preparing for the unexpected
Organizing the logistics 54
Sample timeline for organizers
Thinking about your audience
Considering your messages
Planning what you want to say
Sample timeline for presenters
Key questions for structuring presentations
Part5: Evaluation - PDF only
5.1 Why evaluate?
Summary and results of past evaluations
5.2 Evaluating your program
Using evaluation to sustain your program
Tips for successful evaluations
Student evaluation -- Pre-test
Student Evaluation -- Post-test
Appendices - PDF only
Appendix A: Outline of the program
Where does the program fit in the curriculum?
Appendix B: Useful mental health related Web sites
Mental Health Resources for Educators
General mental health Web sites
Children and youth
Adolescent depression and suicide
Mental illness and the arts
Appendix C: Other useful resources
Alternative formats (cd-roms, on-line discussions, audio-visual resources)
Training in Suicide Prevention
Appendix D: Toll-free phone lines
Appendix E: Ontario mental health organizations