NAMI Ending the Silence is an in-school presentation about mental health designed for middle and high school students. Students can learn about mental illness directly from family members and individuals living with mental illness themselves. The goal of the presentation is raise awareness and change perceptions about mental health conditions.

Teens: Please visit our Youth Mental Health Support and Toolbox pages for great information and resources!

What You Should Expect

  • Fifty-minute presentation at no cost.
  • Designed for high school students and typically offered in a freshman/sophomore health, science or psychology class.
  • Led by a team of trained presenters including a young adult living in recovery from mental illness.
  • Includes presenter stories, educational slides, videos and discussion.

What Your Students Will Hear

sara-ETSA toolkit of practical information

Your students 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 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

To request an Ending the Silence presentation, complete a NAMI Presentation Request Form [PDF or editable DOC] and email it to jessica [dot] miller [at] namiaustin [dot] org. Please note: because we receive a large number of requests, we recommend you send in your request at least three weeks in advance. However, we do make every effort to fulfill each request we receive.