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How to Write and Place Op-Eds

Op-eds — short for "opposite the editorial page" — can be a great way to speak directly to your audiences through the media about your program. Your op-ed can make a direct appeal to local newspaper readers. It can ask them to pay attention to the strengths of children, youth, and families and to support your program as an effective and efficient way to help children and youth with mental health needs. Specifically, you should cover:

  • why this day is important to children, youth, families, and your community;
  • brief, general information about your activities or event to show why your op-ed is newsworthy;
  • whom you help;
  • what your program does and how it is unique; and
  • your program's successes.

In addition to these basics, you should end with a call to action. You may urge your readers to attend your National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day activities to learn more about your services and supports, to refer a child or adolescent who might be overcoming mental health needs, or to educate State or local representatives. These suggestions are meant to stimulate ideas; feel free to develop a call to action of your own that meets your program's specific needs and goals.


If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs to talk, please call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

Return to main page of SAMHSA.gov/Children | For more information, click here to email AwarenessDay2014@vancomm.com