NAMI Ending the Silence
Helping middle and high schoolers understand mental illness makes a big difference. We can teach them about the warning signs for themselves and their friends. NAMI Ending the Silence helps raise awareness and change perceptions around mental health conditions.
Through this free classroom presentation, students get to see the reality of living with a mental health condition. During the 50-minute presentation, a young adult living with mental illness and a family member tell their stories about mental health challenges, including what hurt and what helped.
Why Ending the Silence Matters
- 1 in 5 kids experiences a mental health condition; only 20% of them actually get help
- About 50% of students ages 14+ with a mental health condition will drop out of school
- Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds
- The earlier the better: early identification and intervention provides better outcomes
What Your Students Get
Moving stories from positive role models have the power to change kids’ views. The discussion gives students the rare opportunity to ask questions about mental health challenges to people who have lived it. The presentation’s message of empathy and hope encourages students to actively care for themselves and their friends. It also teaches them it’s okay to talk about what they’re feeling. NAMI Ending the Silence covers:
- Early warning signs
- Facts and statistics about youth and mental health conditions
- When, where and how to get help for themselves or their friends
- When it’s not okay to keep a secret
What People are Saying
“I’m really grateful and glad that you talked to us. I often feel very alone or weird because many kids my age don’t understand. But, now I’m sure they would be more supportive of me.” -Student
“It is amazing what just one day, one talk can do. You never really know what’s going on in the brain of any particular student.” -Teacher
To learn more information or schedule a Ending the Silence presentation, contact Megan Capitelli at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is IOOV?
The In Our Own Voice program and its impact on participant’s lives… in their own voice.
In Our Own Voice (IOOV) is a unique public education program developed by NAMI, in which two trained consumer speakers share compelling personal stories about living with mental illness and achieving recovery.
The program was started with a grant from Eli Lily and Company.
IOOV is an opportunity for those who have struggled with mental illness to gain confidence and to share their individual experiences of recovery and transformation.
Throughout the IOOV presentation, audience members are encouraged to offer feedback and ask questions. Audience participation is an important aspect of IOOV because the more audience members become involved, the closer they come to understanding what it is like to live with a mental illness and stay in recovery.
IOOV presentations are given to consumer groups, students, law enforcement officials, educators, providers, faith community members, politicians, professionals, inmates, and interested civic groups.
All presentations are offered free of charge.
Groups or organizations interested in seeing a presentation may request that one be given in their area through their state or local affiliate.
The goals of IOOV are to meet the need for consumer- run initiatives, to set a standard for quality education about mental illness from those who have been there, to offer genuine work opportunities, to encourage self-confidence and self-esteem in presenters, and to focus on recovery and the message of hope.
Anyone familiar with mental illness knows that recovery is not a singular event, but a multi-dimensional, multi-linear journey characterized more by the mindset of the one taking it than by his or her condition at any given moment along the way.
Understanding recovery as having several dimensions makes its uneven course easier to accept. Much as we don’t blame the cancer patient for dying of invasive tumors, we can’t condemn a consumer whose symptoms overtake his or her best efforts to manage illness.
Recovery is the point in someone’s illness in which the illness is no longer the first and foremost part of his or her life, no longer the essence of all his or her existence.
Ultimately, recovery is about attitude and making the effort.
Sharing Hope: Speaking with African Americans about Mental Health
Lack of information and misconceptions surrounding mental health issues prevent many members of the African American community from getting the help and support they need. Sharing Hope is an hour-long presentation that can help increase mental health awareness in African American communities by addressing a number of important topics:
- The signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depression
- How to talk about mental health and decrease stigma
- An overview of recovery and how it’s possible
- The types of mental health services and supports available, including NAMI education and support programs
What’s Included in the Presentation?
- A presenter team made up of at least two individuals–a person living with a mental health condition and a family member of a person with a mental health condition.
- A scripted 60-minute interactive dialogue centered on the presenters’ personal connections to mental health and journeys to recovery.
- A handout for presentation audiences, Sharing Hope: An African American Guide to Mental Health. This educational booklet provides mental health information through personal stories and highlights how and where to find help.
- Detailed checklists, practice sheets and other materials to help you make community connections and plan a successful presentation.
The tools and resources in Sharing Hope are all modifiable, so they can be adapted to fit your needs and resources.