Ending the Silence of Mental Illness in High School

From NAMI blog

By Colleen Duewel, NAMI Director of Education

I am delighted to announce that NAMI has added NAMI Ending the Silence as a signature education program.NAMI Ending the Silence is an in-school presentation about mental health designed for high school students. Students can learn about mental illness directly from the family members and individuals living with mental illness themselves.

Although only a short, 50 minute presentation, NAMI Ending the Silence is effective at raising awareness, encouraging early identification and intervention and giving a human face to mental illness. By providing a realistic view of recovery and starting a dialog with the students, this program removes the fear and mystery that is often the result of the silence surrounding what can feel like a scary topic.

The goal of this program is to create a generation of students that are well-positioned to eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness through education, support and advocacy. In NAMI Ending the Silence, presenters are trained to “share” as opposed to “teach” the material. The tone set with this attitude is critical. Presenters talk to the students, not at them. They make eye contact with the individual students, chat with them upon entering the classroom and hang around after class is over to visit briefly. As a result, students realize that NAMI Ending the Silence presenters really care about them.

In the presentation, students learn about the signs and symptoms of mental illness, recovery and coping strategies, how to help friends, how to reduce stigma and other important topics that can help spread awareness and knowledge of mental illness.

For the rest of this article, visit NAMI blog.

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One thought on “Ending the Silence of Mental Illness in High School

  1. Pingback: NAMI Looks Ahead to 35 Years in 2014 | NAMI South Bay

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