Each September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) launches a national public education campaign about the effectiveness of treatment for mental and substance use disorders as part its National Recovery Month. The goal of this national observance is to educate Americans that substance use treatment can enable those with a mental or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.

The observance reinforces the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover. There are millions of Americans whose lives have been transformed through recovery. Since these successes often go unnoticed by the broader population, Recovery Month provides a vehicle for everyone to celebrate these accomplishments.

The PSA Campaign

Goodwill Communications, working with Crosby Marketing, launched a national PSA campaign to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders.

The effort celebrates individuals living in recovery and honors the people in the field who make recovery possible.

The campaign was titled: r is for Recovery and Voices for Recovery. They share the message of hope, deliver words of encouragement from individuals in recovery to those in need of help, and feature SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357) – a 24-hour, free and confidential information and treatment referral service for mental and substance use disorders.

The PSAs were distributed to over 1,200 local TV stations, nearly 200 cable networks, and approximately 8,000 radio stations.


We launched an aggressive media outreach effort to promote the Recovery campaign by:

  • Posting the TV PSAs to the National Association of Broadcasters’ Spot Center download site, as well as our own download site called PSA Digital, both of which were promoted to the media
  • Using our outreach specialist to contact national TV networks to pitch the PSAs
  • Sending blast emails and hard copy direct mailers to the media to remind them of where they can download the PSAs


As we do with all our client campaigns the Recovery TV campaign was evaluated using both the Nielsen SpotTrac monitoring system and bounce-back cards for radio.

Monthly usage reports are then posted to a password-protected reporting site available to both SAMHSA and Crosby Marketing staff. The campaign generated just under 20,000 airplays in 32 states and 80 cities with a value of $2.2 million in airtime exposure.