Stepping Up Month of Action

Since the launch of Stepping Up in 2015, more than 475 counties in 43 states have passed a resolution or proclamation to join the initiative and commit to creating a data-driven, systems-level plan to reduce the prevalence of mental illness in their jails and improve outcomes for people with mental illnesses in their communities.

In 2018, dozens of counties participated in the Stepping Up Day of Action to highlight the important work happening in their communities. But there’s much more work to be done. Throughout 2019, the Stepping Up partners are asking counties to “Step Up” their efforts by completing the Stepping Up County Self-Assessment to identify a priority goal for this year (learn more here).

And this May, Stepping Up is leading a full Month of Action, during which counties across the country will demonstrate their impact and highlight their efforts toward reducing the number of people with mental illnesses in jails. To participate in the Month of Action, counties are encouraged to do a range of activities:

  • Week 1 (May 5–11):

    Highlight the Progress Your County Has Made with its Stepping Up Efforts

    • Pass a proclamation formally announcing your county’s participation in the Stepping Up Month of Action.
         Download a proclamation template.
    • Host an event to highlight progress in your community and invite your local media with a media advisory (see last year’s Day of Action Toolkit for ideas and resources).
         Download a media advisory template.
    • Share a press release highlighting your county’s progress.
         Download a press release template.
    • Create an infographic, slide show or video about your county’s efforts using Stepping Up graphics.
    • Submit op-eds or articles to local news outlets highlighting people positively impacted by your work (so that it is hopefully published in Week 3) and/or calling on others to work on this important issue (for Week 4).
  • Week 2 (May 12–18):

    Showcase Your County’s Stepping Up Team

    • Post a photo of your county’s Stepping Up team on social media with the hashtag #StepUp4MentalHealth.
    • Create a brief video with interviews of Stepping Up team members and share it on social media with the hashtag #StepUp4MentalHealth.
    • Create or promote your county’s Stepping Up website.
  • Week 3 (May 19–27):

    Share Experiences of People Impacted by Your County’s Stepping Up Efforts

    • Create a video with an interview of a person(s) impacted by your work and share it on social media with the hashtag #StepUp4MentalHealth.
    • Share a blog post on your county’s Stepping Up website to highlight the impact you’re having on people in your community.
  • Week 4 (May 28–June 1):

    Encourage Your Peers and Peer Counties to “Step Up” for Mental Health

    • Send a letter encouraging neighboring counties that haven’t joined Stepping Up to become part of the national movement.
         Download a letter template.
    • Publish written or video testimonials about the need for change in local communities.
    • Participate in the national Stepping Up Twitter Chat on May 30 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. ET using #StepUp4MentalHealth. Learn more.

Tell Us about Your Month of Action Plans!

We want to know what activities and programs your county has planned! If you’d like Stepping Up to showcase your county’s Month of Action activities, we encourage you to submit a short summary of any activities or events and links to any related media and social media posts. Submissions are due Tuesday, May 28. Please send all submissions and any questions to

And as you promote your Stepping Up work, be sure to share photos, video clips and other media materials with the hashtag #StepUp4MentalHealth.