NAMI Parents and Teachers as Allies

Overview

NAMI Parents and Teachers as Allies is a two-hour in-service program helping school professionals identify the early warning signs of early-onset mental health conditions in children and adolescents in schools. The program focuses on the specific, age-related symptoms of mental health conditions in youth, how best to intervene, and the lived experiences of individuals and families. This program is designed for teachers, administrators, school health professionals, parents and others in the school community. The program is designed to target schools in urban, suburban, rural, and culturally diverse communities and the toolkit has been developed to be culturally sensitive.

Program Goals

Empowering teachers and school personnel to make a lasting difference in the lives of their students, NAMI Parents & Teachers as Allies opens the door for schools to make a difference.

Our free, on-site presentation is led by a team from your community consisting of a young adult with a mental health condition, a parent of a child or youth with mental health needs, and an educational professional. Our 90-minute program will share how to:

  • Understand the difference between “bad behavior” and symptoms of a mental health condition.
  • Recognize early warning signs.
  • Communicate and partner with families effectively.
  • Link to community services quickly.
  • Create a supportive learning environment for all students.

Who Leads the Program

The presentation is led by a team consisting of a young adult with a mental health condition, a parent of a child or youth mental health needs, and an educational professional. Each individual is able to draw from his/her own experiences as examples and lessons learned.

What People are Saying about the Program

PTA gave me a new understanding of the importance of my role in early recognition of kids with symptoms of mental illness and the urgency of early intervention on their behalf.” – Education professional

“My sister lives with schizophrenia but was so good at hiding it for many years. Few people out there understand what to look for. Thank you for the work you do in creating support for families and improving awareness for educators. What you are doing is extremely important.” – Education professional

How to Find the Program in your Community

Search our database.

If your affiliate or community is not found, contact your local affiliate to request the program in your community or contact Sarah Wilson or call 804-285-8264 x203 for more information.

How to Give Back

NAMI Parents and Teachers as Allies 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. Adults with personal experience with mental health conditions (i.e. as a parent, as a family member, and as an adult with lived experience), young adults with personal experience with mental health conditions, and educational professionals are needed to serve as NAMI Parents and Teachers as Allies presenters. Learn more.

Support a local NAMI Parents and Teachers as Allies 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.