Yesterday morning I attended a NAMI Ending the Silence presentation at an Orange County high school. I hope to soon train to become an Ending the Silence presenter for my local NAMI Orange County chapter. Since I’m running on empty, here I simply quote verbatim (yes, once again, I just copied and pasted the content) NAMI’s Ending the Silence home page (

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

Schedule an Ending the Silence Presentation

If you would like to host a NAMI Ending the Silence presentation at your school, contact your local NAMI. If the presentation isn’t already available, ask to bring it to your community.


9 responses to “End the Silence”

  1. I hope you’re sleeping soundly now.

  2. I’m in bed reading right now. Just got back from 3-hour Provider Education class. Pretty wiped out.

  3. I hope you can fill your tank at least a little bit, asap. Your life sounds incredibly busy, I wouldn’t be able to keep up. Take good care of yourself xxx

  4. I’m going to start attending local meetings. Thank you for the reminder, Kitt.

  5. I actually hopped on it for a few minutes, but it was really dusty, so I dusted it. Now I have to get back on it. I was listening to Prince Ea when I was on it.

  6. Contact national, I suppose, or turn to the closest metrpolitan area.

  7. This sounds wonderful. Its needed, too.

  8. What an incredible-sounding program. God, I wish I had a chance to see this type of presentation when I was in junior or senior high school. I hope my children are lucky enough to have NAMI Santa Cruz give one of their middle school classes a presentation. My ten-year-old remains very cynical about anything that has to do with, bipolar disorder and if I try to discuss it, she’s not interested. So I don’t push her – there’s no need yet.

    In any case, I’m very glad you saw “NAMI Ending the Silence” in action!I know you’re burning the candle at both ends, so please take care of “Lady K”. I still might gently nag you later to give Dy Jr. a brief run!

    Xo Dy Sr.

  9. I would love to be a part of this, especially since my daughter (14) suffers from depression and a mood disorder which has not exactly been defined yet. However, my local NAMI chapter is pretty non-exsistent. Any advice on where to turn to figure out why? The last thing updated on the site for Jackson and Hillsdale County, Michigan, was in 2013. I’m not sure how people can gain support from such a great organization when it isn’t active in this area 🙁

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.