Change the national conversation about mental health and suicide.

We must listen to and lift up the voices and experiences of people affected by emotional distress, mental illness, and suicide. 

Changing the conversation and the cultural understanding of mental health and suicide prevention is paramount to paving the way for transformative care. The shift in our national script needs to describe how common such conditions are, the diversity and sheer numbers of those affected, and the behind-the-number stories, as well as provide messages of resiliency.

Mr. David McFarland

Priority 1 Calls to Action

  • We call on our National Response partners to create a mechanism that supports collaboration among mental health and substance misuse stakeholder groups around communication efforts. This includes developing aligned messages that organizations and companies can convey through their unique brand expressions, sharing creative assets and research insights (including message testing and impact measurement), establishing common calls to action, and identifying opportunities for cross-promotion.
  • We call on the Action Alliance, through its national partners, to implement a coordinated and cohesive U.S. National Response campaign that ignites an impactful conversation about mental health promotion and suicide prevention.
  • We call on the federal agencies charged with implementing 988 (the new national number for mental health crises, which will be effective by 2022) to collaborate with advocacy groups and private sector companies to design and implement a comprehensive communication campaign coordinated with the launch of the new 988 service.


Priority 1 Work Group

Priority 1 is one of six strategic imperatives the National Response has identified to help transform mental health and suicide prevention nationwide in the wake of the pandemic and beyond.  

The co-leaders of the multi-sector Priority 1 Work Group are:

  • Ms. Noopur Agarwal, Vice President of Social Impact, MTV – ViacomCBS
  • Mr. David McFarland, Chief Executive Officer, DLM Entertainment Group/DLM Impact Partners

Please visit this page often for progress updates and for information on how you can get involved.

Priority 1 Specific Resources

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All Americans—and all sectors of society—can help promote mental health and suicide prevention.

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