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Ending the Silence

NAMI Ending the Silence is an in-school presentation about mental health and suicide designed for middle and high school students and their families. Students and families can learn about mental illness and suicide directly from family members and individuals living with mental illness themselves.

What You Should Expect

  • Fifty-minute presentation is free of cost.
  • Designed for middle and high school students (can be held in a classroom, gymnasium, or auditorium)
  • Led by a team of trained presenters including a young adult living in recovery from mental illness and a Lead Adult either Family Member or individual living in recovery
  • Includes presenter stories, educational slides, videos and discussion.


What Your Students and Families Will Hear

A Toolkit Of Practical Information

Your students and families can learn the science and impact of mental illness on youth well as concrete ways to use this knowledge. Topics covered include:

  • Signs and symptoms of mental illness.
  • Statistics on how mental illness affects youth.
  • Personal perspectives on the experience of living with mental illness.
  • Recovery and coping strategies.
  • Ways to seek help for themselves or for a friend.
  • Ways to help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.

An Empowered View Of A Misunderstood Topic

The presentation’s message of empathy and hope encourages students to actively care for themselves and for their peers, whether by reaching out for help, encouraging a friend or family member to seek help or by reducing stigma. Contact with a positive role model, in the form of the young adult presenter, can powerfully change their views of a common but stigmatized life experience. The discussion portion gives students a rare opportunity to ask questions and learn personal truths about mental illness.


What Your Students and Families Will Receive

Resources they can use if mental illness enters their lives, including:

  • Cards with contact information for mental health agencies and youth support services.
  • A list of symptoms/warning signs of mental illness.
  • Recommendations on how to help a friend who is experiencing mental health problems.


Request A Presentation

  • Contact Wendy Casper- Ending the Silence Program Leader for NAMI Gwinnett
  •  or 678.849.1879 (leave voice mail stating you are calling about ETS)

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.

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

Schedule an Ending the Silence Presentation




 NAMI on Campus  provides information and resources to support students living with mental health conditions and to empower them to take action on their campuses. This site also includes materials to help colleges in improving the academic and social experience of their students by addressing the mental health needs of all students.

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