Published on March 2, 2017 by Sean Flynt  
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by Liann Cates

Samford University’s Face the Five team is promoting the Campaign to Change Direction in partnership with Give an Hour to raise awareness of mental health.

As part of the project, the team has worked with Birmingham Mayor William Bell, Alabama governor Robert Bentley and Mountain Brook City Council on declaring March 5, 2017, as Mental Health Awareness Day for Birmingham and Mountain Brook. The team has received proclamations from all the involved governing bodies. 

Overall, the Face the Five team’s goal is not only to promote the discussion of mental health in America but also to raise awareness with Alabamians.

The Face the Five team consists of five Samford public relations students participating in the Public Relations Student Society of America Bateman Case Study Competition. This premier national competition gives students the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge and internship experience to create and implement a full public relations campaign.

This year’s client, Give an Hour, leads the Campaign to Change Direction effort with a mission to harness the expertise and generosity of volunteer mental health professionals capable of responding to both acute and chronic conditions that arise within society.

The Samford team encourages Alabamians to pledge to know the Campaign to Change Direction’s common barriers in order to better understand mental health and raise awareness about the five signs, including change in personality, agitation, withdrawal, decline in personal care and hopelessness.

The team also hosted a mental health awareness panel discussion on campus in February, and invited the Hand in Paw organization to visit campus to help alleviate stress. 

Samford team members include Lindsey Anderson, a senior from Columbia, Tennessee; Courtney Bob, a junior from Lutz, Florida; Liann Cates, a senior from Atlanta; Savannah Holaday, a junior from Danville, Alabama; and Sarah Tuttle, a junior from Brentwood, Tennessee.

In 2016, Samford’s Bateman Competition team placed third in the nation. The 2015 team received honorable mention nationally.

View coverage of the Samford team's campaign here.

Liann Cates is a journalism and mass communication major and reported on this story for the Division of Marketing and Communication.

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About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.