Are you into Mental Health?

This May, NAMI Austin is joining affiliates across the United States in shining the light on mental health with an array of activities and events. Mark your calendars for these events, and keep an eye Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates. Get #IntoMentalHealth with exciting events all month long!

Hear about our events on the “Inside Austin” podcast with Matt Alvarez below:

Saturday, May 6
Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day: Flight to Freedom From Stigma

9:00-11:30 a.m. | South Steps of the State Capitol | FREE
Help us launch Mental Health Month with a special celebration of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week. Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week! Join NAMI Austin for this rally co-sponsored by the Texas System of Care and Texas Department of State Health Services, featuring keynote speaker and NAMI Austin member, Anne Grady. After the rally, march with us to Wooldridge Square for live music, food, giveaways, butterfly release, bounce house and Camp Gladiator mini boot camp. NAMI Austin will be on hand to provide information on our children and youth programming and resources for families and schools. Click here for flier.

Tuesday, May 9
Breaking the Silence: Creating Communities Where Teens & Families Talk About Mental Health

4:45-6:45 p.m. | Reagan High School | FREE but registration required. Click here to register!

50% of mental health issues can be identified by age 14. Creating school and home environments where teens and families feel comfortable talking about their mental health can help prevent crises and build overall health and well-being. Join Integral Care, NAMI Austin and Austin Independent School District for this community forum and hear from a parent and young adult sharing their personal experience with mental illness as well as a mental health clinician and community health advocate talking about treatment and resources. Dinner and resource fair begins at 4:45 with forum beginning at 5:15. School professionals, families and anyone who works with and cares about youth are invited to attend. Click here for flier.

Wednesday, May 10
Nerd Nite: The Brain in Mental Illness with Dr. Steve Strakowski

Doors open 7:30 p.m., Show at 8:00 p.m. | The North Door | FREE
In celebration of Mental Health Month, Nerd Nite Austin is focusing on the brain and featuring Dr. Steve Strakowski, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Dell Medical School (and a NAMI Austin Board member!) as this month’s Nerd Nite headliner with a look at “The Brain in Mental Illness: Gaining Knowledge, Defeating Stigma.” Join us for this interesting look at modern psychiatric research using brain imaging and how it helps us better understand the brain and clearly establishes the basis of major mental illness in the brain. Nerd Nite is a monthly event held in more than 90 cities across the globe during which three “nerds” give 20-minute fun-yet-informative presentations while the audience drinks along.

Wednesday, May 17
Sharing Hope “Lunch and Learn”

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. | The Sandra Joy Anderson Community Health Center | FREE

Take a break in your work day and join us for a catered lunch and opportunity to participate in NAMI Austin’s Sharing Hope, an hour-long presentation featuring a team of individuals whose lives have been impacted by mental illness. They will share vital information wrapped up in real storytelling and help increase mental health awareness by addressing a number of important topics, such as the signs and symptoms of mental health disorders, how to talk about mental health and decrease stigma, an overview of recovery and how it’s possible, and the types of mental health services and supports available, including NAMI education and support programs. This event is hosted in collaboration with the University of Texas Dell Medical School’s Health Disparities team.

Wednesday, May 24
Okay to Say: Women Speak Up for Mental Health

6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. | Hyatt Regency Austin, Foothills II | $25
Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways we change the way our community addresses mental health. Join NAMI Austin and the statewide Okay to Say campaign for a special evening of storytelling by women and for women. Four amazingly successful women will share their mental health journeys and what they’ve learned along the way. In addition, this fun-filled and inspiring evening will feature live music, a Depressed Cake Shop pop-up, art show and sale plus door prizes and swag bags with special gifts from ReFocus Bands and philosophy. Invite your girlfriends and join us as we get inspired to speak up for mental health!

Featuring emcee Judy Maggio and storytellers Sheryl Cole, former Mayor Pro Tem and Austin City Council Member; Kendall Antonelli, co-owner of Antonelli’s Cheese Shop; Megan Alvarado, Founder of NAMI on Campus at UT; Vanessa Marty, Austin entrepreneur and business owner. Music by Daphne Willis

Admission includes heavy appetizers, desserts and parking voucher. Cash bar available.

Thursday, May 25
Bridges to Hope: A Mental Health Training for Faith Community Leaders 

9:00 a.m.-noon | St. David’s Foundation | FREE but registration required. Click here to register.

Because religion and spirituality often play a vital role in healing, it’s not uncommon for families and individuals experiencing mental health issues to turn to a faith leader first for help. Yet faith leaders, staff and key outreach volunteers are often lacking the information, education and resources to be the “bridge to hope” needed as people navigate serious, sometimes life-threatening, mental health issues. Click here for a flier.

Bridges to Hope is a 3-hour mental health training featuring:

  • An informative overview of prevalent mental health myths and common symptoms of mental health disorders
  • Simple ideas for building “bridges to hope” for your faith community
  • A tool kit of community mental health resources
  • A tool for developing an action plan to address the needs in your community and optional post-training support

Click here to learn more.