This year the number of Americans who say they feel anxious has increased by almost 400 percent, according to data from screenings conducted by Mental Health America. Residents in San Luis Obispo County are feeling the strain, too.

“With each month that the COVID-19 pandemic is prolonged, the mental health needs of our community grow more urgent,” said Jill Bolster-White, executive director at Transitions-Mental Health Association (TMHA). “As an agency, the number of clients we serve increased this past year by over 1,000 people.”

More people than ever before are looking for mental wellness support, but aren’t sure where to find it. To help solve this problem, Verdin is partnering with TMHA to create a campaign that educates the public about SLO Hotline, a free, confidential, mental health telephone line.

The agency is calling this project The 2020 Give. Since 2014 Verdin has hosted an annual event called the 24-Hour Give during which a worthy nonprofit gets a full rebrand, for free and all in 24 hours. In light of the pandemic, the Give will be extended beyond a consecutive 24-hour period. Verdi Will work with THMA, a handful of skilled creative partners and media sponsors to develop and execute a free mental health awareness campaign, to be launched in January 2021.

“This year, more than any other year, it felt imperative to give back to our community,” President Mary Verdin said. “Because of COVID-19 and all the uncertainty and change in our world, mental health has really taken center stage. We decided the best way to help people is to use our expertise as a marketing and PR firm to get the word out about the mental health resources available in our area.”

This year’s Give partners include Red Canary video production studio, Elliott Johnson Photography, Boone Graphics, UPS Store in Marigold Center, PrintPal Promotion, The Sign Place, Centro, KSBY, KCOY, The Tribune, New Times, SLO Provisions and more.

SLO Hotline (800-783-0607) strives to reduce stigma and educate the community about mental illness by offering free guidance, crisis and suicide prevention and service referrals in San Luis Obispo County, Santa Maria and Lompoc. Accredited by the American Association of Suicidology, SLO Hotline also relieves call volume for 9-1-1 responders by taking non-emergency calls 24 hours per day, seven days a week.

For more information about The 2020 Give, visit or follow Verdin on Facebook or Instagram.


Verdin is a full-service marketing firm based in San Luis Obispo, CA, that has been helping businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies communicate with their target audiences in strategic and creative ways since 2003. Verdin’s philosophy is to tie everything it does for clients back to the client’s goals, using what they call integrity-based marketing. For more information, visit


For over 40 years, Transitions-Mental Health Association (TMHA) has provided services on the Central Coast.  TMHA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating stigma and promoting recovery and wellness for people with mental illness through work, housing, community and family support services. TMHA operates over 40 programs that serve over 4,500 unique individuals and family members in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. The emphasis of TMHA’s many services is to teach vital independent living skills, and build a framework for community re-entry through personal empowerment and hands on experience. Since 1979, TMHA has been dedicated to providing housing, employment, case management and life-skills support to teens and adults with mental illness; and support, resources and education for their loved ones.