How to Use the Toolkit

Now that you've seen what's in the toolkit, here are some ways to use it. Don't forget that you can make as many copies of the toolkit as you'd like to distribute throughout your community!

  1. Connect with faith communities. Make copies of the toolkit and reach out to churches, synagogues, mosques and other faith communities in your area. Ask to speak with the parish nurse or youth-group leaders who might have a vested interest in working to raise mental health awareness in teens. Many faith communities have youth groups that would welcome the chance to speak to teens about mental health.
  2. Reach out to Volunteers of America. Volunteers of America (VoA) works to make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable throughout our country. Serving 400 communities in 46 states, VoA is a great organization to partner with to bring this program to a new population.
  3. Partner with Community Organizations. There are countless organizations that work with teens every week. Reach out to Girl and Boy Scout Troops, Big Brothers Big Sisters offices, Boys and Girls Clubs or your local YMCA. They are always looking for new activities and will appreciate your help!
  4. Use Social Media for Broad Outreach. Use your organization’s Twitter (#SayitOutLoud) and Facebook to conduct broad outreach to youth in your community to join you for a discussion. Use the sample posts we’ve developed and provide pizza or snacks as an incentive. Ask your park district and local newspaper to promote it through their social media channels too.
  5. Ask for help with promotion. After you have partnered to deliver successful presentations in your community, ask those organizations to Say it Out Loud and promote the project as well. Write a blog for their church bulletin, website or listserv about the presentation and what it meant to those involved. Suggest that they use their social media accounts to promote the project and mental health awareness in general.
  6. Use this opportunity to connect with AKA. NAMI has formed a partnership with Alpha Kappa Alpha, an African American sorority focused on community service. Find the local AKA office in your community and work together to have discussions with teens in their networks.
  7. Work with high school counselors. Connect with high school counselors and student activity centers to identify clubs and sports teams that would let you facilitate a discussion with students. Try to meet students where they are and ask them to take an hour to focus on their mental health.
  8. Use NAMI on Campus clubs. NAMI on Campus clubs are always looking for ways to give back to their communities. Reach out to your local NAMI on Campus club and ask them to help facilitate these discussions with teens in your area. Youth respond well to other youth and this might help them open up.
  9. Add Say it Out Loud to another activity. Use this project as the center piece of your activity for National Children's Mental Health Awareness Week the first week of May. Or, if you are already hosting an activity with youth, such as a NAMI Walk or movie night, add this discussion to the agenda. There’s never a wrong time to Say it Out Loud!
  10. Complete the Say it Out Loud survey. Help us to promote the program by completing our survey  and asking those you have a discussion with to take the survey as well! Providing testimonials and feedback helps NAMI promote Say it Out Loud, grow our national movement and create more programs and resources that are useful to you.