Well, now we have an actual study showing that, while they don’t come close to solving some of the major issues we have with the mental health system, awareness campaigns do some good.
“Despite the small changes in attitudes in the general public, the value of public awareness campaigns is a function of both their impact and the number of people who are reached. Small effects in many people may translate into substantial yields of a campaign.
Awareness campaigns are mostly utilised as one component in a broader prevention strategy. The importance of messages of understanding and support, as conveyed by such a public awareness campaign, should not be underestimated.”
As that last paragraph makes clear, they do the most good when combined with other tools, and we mustn’t let anyone think that awareness is enough. It’s a start, but there is so much more to do.