Communications Tools for General Public and Environmental Health

General Annual Public and Environmental Health Awareness Campaigns and Events

National Public Health Week
Hosted by the American Public Health Association (APHA), National Public Health Week (NPHW) is the first full week of April every year. APHA provides a toolkit, hosts an annual Twitter chat, and offers many more resources and ways to get involved. [url; APHA]

  • National Public Health Week Twitter Chat:
    2024: April 3, at 2 p.m. ET (Expected)
  • National Public Health Week dates:
    2024: April 1–7  |  2025: April 7–13  |  2026: April 5–11 |  2027: April 4–10 |  2028: April 2–8

National Rebuilding Month and National Rebuilding Day
Founded by Rebuilding Together, National Rebuilding Month occurs every April and culminates with National Rebuilding Day, the last Saturday of April. In past campaigns, more than 33,000 volunteers worked on approximately 1,500 Rebuilding Together affiliate rebuild projects across the nation. Follow #RebuildingMonth on Twitter. Rebuilding Together now hosts an annual Twitter chat, usually on the Wednesday before National Rebuilding Day. [url; Rebuilding Together]

  • National Rebuilding Month Twitter Chat:
    2024: April 24, at 1 p.m. ET (Expected)
  • National Rebuilding Day dates:
    2024: April 27  |  2025: April 26  |  2026: April 25 |  2027: April 24 |  2028: April 29

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
Started by Bebe Moore Campbell, an American author, advocate, and co-founder of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month seeks to foster dialogue and eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health in minority communities. It aims to promote cultural sensitivity, improve access to quality mental health care, and encourage open discussions about mental health within these communities. In 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives officially recognized July as “Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.” Because of its official recognition, CDC and HHS/OMH offer resources and messaging; some mental health-focused organizations (MHA, NCTSN) do as well. [url: NAMI]

National Poverty in America Awareness Month 
The U.S. Census Bureau provides various facts and figures—and many resources—regarding the current state of poverty in the United States. [url; Census]

Children’s Environmental Health Day
The Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) hosts Children’s Environmental Health Day annually on the second Thursday of October. CEHN mobilizes state and local governments to proclaim the day in their jurisdictions, hosts a CEHDay Twitter chat, and provides a collection of other tools for organizations to host events and advocate for children’s environmental health. Follow #CEHDay or #ChildrenAtTheCenter. [url; CEHN]

  • CEHDay Twitter Chat:
    2023: October 11, at 2 p.m. ET (Expected)
  • Children’s Environmental Health Day dates:
    2023: October 12 |  2024: October 10 |  2025: October 9 |  2026: October 8 |  2027: October 7 | 2028: October 12

General Public Health Marketing and Communications Toolkits

CDC Gateway to Health Communication Tools and Templates
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Gateway to Health Communication offers guides to public health marketing through many mediums, including social media, entertainment education, and posters. [url; CDC]

  • Channels. This page lists the social media and digital media channels used by CDC.

NACCHO 2019 Public Health Communications Webinar Series
The National Association for County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) presented this webinar series in 2019 for local health departments to build capacity on public health communications. Topics included branding, engaging hard-to-reach populations, media relations, and social media monitoring. [url; NACCHO]

NACCHO Social Media Toolkit
This toolkit for local health departments from NACCHO covers how to establish, expand, and use social media in public health communication. The toolkit also includes specific tools for creating graphics and guidelines, as well as examples of local public health department social media policies. [url; NACCHO]

SMS Text Messaging for Public Health Communication
Based on on-the-ground research in Seattle-King County, this toolkit covers how to set up and operate a texting program as a public health organization, including logistical considerations and legal implications. There is also a guide specifically for school-based health centers. [url; King County]

HHS Strategic Communications Toolkit
The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Population Affairs hosts this online learning module on strategic communications. The module takes about 60 minutes to complete and will help public health practitioners think through and improve their communication approaches. [url; HHS]

Visually Communicating Public Health Data
The Northwest Center for Public Health Practice offers this one-hour webinar recording about using data to communicate about public health effectively. The webinar describes how to identify an audience and tailor communications for that audience, graphic and visualization techniques, and using data to tell a story. The materials also include a handout with further reading and resources. [url; NWCPHP]

Risk Communication

CDC Gateway to Health Communication Risk Communication
This page collects information and resources on emergency risk communications. Resources include a primer on health risk communication and a newsletter for emergency risk communicators. [url; CDC]

Northwest Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center
Funded by the CDC, the Northwest Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center conducted research on public health emergency communication for seven years. This page compiles project findings and activities, including academic articles, training series, preparedness briefs, and a tabletop exercise, with specific topics including SMS use, limited English proficiency, and healthcare providers. [url; NWCPHP]

Risk Communication for Emergency Preparedness
This one-hour online course from the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice is intended for state, local, and tribal public health professionals, focusing on emergency preparedness and communicating during crises.

Do you know of a great resource that no communications toolkit should be without? Tell us about it! Send your suggestions to Amanda Reddy or Christopher Bloom.


Latest page update: January 4, 2024.