For its actions to foster healthier minds and build stronger communities, National Council for Behavioral Health earned a 2017 ASAE Power of A Summit Award for its Be 1 in a Million campaign. The campaign successfully met its goal of doubling the number of trained Mental Health First Aiders to 1 million, doubling the impact of a program created to empower everyday people to identify and support individuals who are experiencing a mental health or substance abuse challenge.

“Mental Health First Aid is about people. It’s about our coworkers and our neighbors. It’s about our family and our friends. It’s about the people with whom we worship and with whom we play. We want to help. We want to do the right thing, to say the right thing, to help stop the struggle and end the pain,” said Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council. “This is where Mental Health First Aid comes in. It helps us answer the question, ‘What can I do?’”

Mental Health First Aid is a groundbreaking 8-hour course that teaches people how to identify when someone may be experiencing a mental health or substance use problem and connect them with appropriate support resources and self-help strategies.

Through Be 1 in a Million, Mental Health First Aid USA reached an unprecedented number of people, garnering extensive media coverage in major outlets like USA Today, CNN and The Washington Post. Harnessing the voices of individuals who have been touched by Mental Health First Aid, the campaign hashtag #1in1m garnered more than 10 million impressions on social media. Countless more individuals shared their stories in local op-eds and blogs.

With the help of 49 partner organizations, the National Council expanded the program’s reach to new audiences with customized courses for public safety, youth, higher education, military families and rural audiences. Public leaders including Michelle Obama and Kathleen Sebelius, took Mental Health First Aid training and talked publicly about it, elevating the program’s visibility.

The National Council is committed to making Mental Health First Aid as common as CPR. They recently launched a new campaign, Be the Difference, with a commitment to strengthen the mental health safety-net—because anyone, anywhere can be the difference for someone facing a mental illness or addiction, if they know what to say and what to do.

ASAE’s Power of A (association) Awards, the industry’s highest honor, recognize the association community’s valuable contributions on the local, national and global levels.  The Power of A Awards reward the outstanding accomplishments of associations and industry professionals who work tirelessly to strengthen lives, the workforce, our systems and structures, the economy and the world.

Congratulations and thank you to National Council for Behavioral Health for exemplifying how associations strengthen the world.