Communicators for Mental Health℠



Designed as a national prototype, Communicators for Mental HealthSM is currently a Greater Cleveland pilot project.


Communicators for Mental HealthSM is designed to effect change by:

  • Recruiting professionals in the communications field (e.g., professionals in public relations, marketing, media, advertising, web design, photography, journalism, graphic and fine arts and printing)
  • Educating professional communicators in mental health with the self-study, online course, Understanding Mental Illness, Addiction, Stigma & Advocacy – A Communicators for Mental HealthSM Primer
  • Enlisting professional communicators as advocates in their personal lives, the workplace and their wider spheres of influence
  • Matching these communicators pro bono with underfunded, local mental health and addiction organizations that need their skills and expertise for a particular project but cannot afford to pay
  • Monitoring and reviewing project progress on both sides and continuing appropriate education, training and coaching
  • Continuously evaluating the program by appropriate metrics

Passion for Change is developing this project in partnership with Greater Cleveland mental health and addiction organizations. Partnership Phase I included representatives from Center for Families & Children, MHS (Mental Health Services), May Dugan Center, NAMI Greater Cleveland, Recovery Resources, Spectrum of Supportive Services and Suicide Prevention Education Alliance.

Passion for Change’s core program is developed directly from “Breaking the Stigma of Mental Illness: Using Public Relations as a Catalyst Toward Success.” This graduate capstone-research was presented in 2006 at the Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University, by PfC President and CEO Marilyn Mongeon Quill. The project won a 2006 Cleveland Rocks Gold Award in Research from the Greater Cleveland Chapter, Public Relations Society of America.


Why should this program interest you?


You will never escape mental illness. It will directly impact you on your life’s journey:

  • Both U.S. and British statistics show that 1 in 4 of us will experience mental illness during a given year


At the very least, mental illness will impact you through:

  • A parent, sibling, spouse, child, extended family member, friend, neighbor or colleague
  • Someone you supervise
  • Someone with power over you
  • An encounter on the street

Mental illness touches us all, and there is no health without mental health!

If you are a professional in the communications field and would like to participate in the Communicators for Mental HealthSM Greater Cleveland Pilot Project, click here for an application.


Personal Advocacy Pledge

 I promise to fight the stigma associated with mental illness …

¨ I will work to reduce stigma at every level.

¨ I will advocate for those who have mental illness and those who care for people who have mental illness.

¨ I will support organizations and policies that reduce stigma and promote mental health.

¨ I will address misconceptions and misinformation surrounding mental illness with patience, persistence, and accurate information.

¨ I will not judge, discriminate, or shame those who have mental illness, and will speak up against those who do.


Signatory Participants

Pamela Baird Atwood          Deborah Baron          Aubrey Barto                    

Stephanie Bencin                Loren Breen              Sara Braunlich

Christina Graw                   Callie Johnson            Shelle Mathis

Lucy McKernan                  Amber Schulman        Ciara Simiele

Chas Tabone                     MJ Thomas