In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Ending the Silence” is a national mental health education program for high
school students, based on real-life experiences
Va., Nov. 20, 2013
/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
has launched a new national program to educate high school students about mental
Ending the Silence" features individuals and family members whose
lives have been affected by mental illness, who visit high schools to provide
"real-life" perspectives based on personal experiences.
Free 50-minute presentations are
designed to complement health, science or psychology classes and are typically
presented in the freshman or sophomore year of high school. Each trained
presentation team includes a young adult in recovery.
Approximately 20 percent of youth
ages 13 to 18 experience mental illness in any given year. About 50 percent of
mental illness begins by age 14 and 75 percent by age 24.
"'NAMI Ending the Silence'
will raise awareness about mental
illness and promote dialogue. It will encourage students to take care of
themselves and each other," said NAMI Executive Director Michael
"The program provides real
faces and real-life stories that help high school students learn more
effectively. Students get a rare opportunity to ask questions about mental
illness that are too often surrounded by silence.
"Ultimately, NAMI's goal is
to help save lives."
Topics covered in the
"NAMI Ending the
Silence" was first developed by NAMI
DuPage County (Ill.). In response to growing demand for the
program from other NAMI Affiliates around the country, NAMI DuPage offered it to
the national organization to become one of its signature education
and support programs.
In Calif., Danny
Gibbs, a young adult presenter in the program has said: "'Ending the
Silence' succeeds where so many other forms of outreach fail because of the
genuine validity of our experience. Unlike many health teachers who work out of
a book and have no personal context to draw on, we have lived expertise acquired
through years of struggle."