NAMI Ending the Silence
NAMI Ending the Silence is a 50 minute presentation designed to give students an opportunity to learn about mental health conditions through an informative PowerPoint and short videos. The presentation educates students about the signs and symptoms of mental health conditions and gives them ideas about how to help themselves, family members, or friends who may be in need of support. The program also includes personal testimony from a youth or young adult with lived experience about their journey in learning to cope with their mental health challenges.
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
Who Leads the Program
NAMI Ending the Silence is delivered by a trained two-person team, one of whom is a young adult with lived experience with a mental health condition. The young adult is at a place in his/her own journey where he/she is able to talk about their experiences in order to support other youth and young adults.
What People are Saying about the Program
“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
How to Find the Program in your Community
If your affiliate or community is not found, contact your local affiliate to request the program in your community or contact Mary Beth Walsh, or call 804-285-8264 x206 for more information.
How to Give Back
NAMI Ending the Silence presenters are volunteers who become certified by attending and graduating from a one day training. The training is designed for presenters to learn and practice specific skills that will guarantee a meaningful and informative educational experience for all participants. After the training, certified presenters know how to deliver their stories; encourage collective thought and questions; and direct energy towards productive outcomes. Presenter trainees are required to go through an application and screening process before being approved to attend a training event. Both adults with personal experience with mental health conditions (ie as a parent, as a family member, or as an adult with lived experience) and young adults with personal experience with mental health conditions are needed to serve as NAMI Ending the Silence presenters. For more information contact your local affiliate.
Support a local NAMI Ending the Silence program in your community. Our presentations utilize volunteers and we are always in need of places for presentations, promotional assistance and monetary or in-kind donations to offset the costs of materials, trainings and refreshments. Contact your local affiliate to learn how you can assist.