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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)


Mental Health is for Everyone Banner Campaign
Evanston, Illinois

Start Date

Brief Description
The Mental Health is for Everyone anti-stigma banner campaign was developed and implemented by the Mental Health Association of the North Shore (MHANS) in Evanston, Illinois. The campaign, initiated by a group of concerned citizens, focuses on educating the North Shore community about mental health issues and mental health advocacy. Recognizing an additional need for information and services, MHANS members also strive to educate the community about children with mental illnesses. MHANS is affiliated with the Mental Health Association of Illinois, the National Mental Health Association, and the United Way.

In the late 1990s, mental disorders ranked as the second most common reason for hospitalization in the state of Illinois and, in particular, for residents of Evanston. Health statistics demonstrated a pressing need for more mental health education and more advocates representing the rights and requirements of individuals and families affected by mental and emotional disorders. MHANS already existed to make mental health a priority in Evanston and throughout the North Shore community; however, the goals and programs of the organization needed more visibility in order to promote more positive changes in public attitudes toward mental illness.

In May of 2005, MHANS created and launched an anti-stigma street banner campaign. The campaign staff arranged to hang a number brightly colored banners throughout the North Shore. The banners bear the message that Mental Health is for Everyone.

To date, the street banner campaign has received excellent feedback from the community and the local government, and has raised an additional $7,000 in order to maintain the project. The campaign is slated to continue for at least another year and a half, with banner displays being approved in five other local communities. Plans are being made to hang banner displays in more communities in the hope of reaching a far greater audience and further dispelling the stigma of mental illness.

Mental Health Association of the North Shore, 2120 Lincoln Street, Evanston, IL 60201-2282, Telephone: 847-328-6198, Email:


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