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

- See more at: http://www.nami.org/Find-Support/NAMI-Programs/NAMI-Ending-the-Silence#sthash.MvITS7js.dpuf

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