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Ending the Silence

NAMI Ending the Silence (ETS) is a 50-minute mental health awareness program for high school age youth.  Teens learn how to recognize the early warning signs of mental illness and what to do if they or someone they know is exhibiting these signs.  NAMI Ending the Silence instills a message of hope and recovery and encourages teens to reduce stigma and end the silence surrounding mental illness.

How Does the Program Work?

Presented in health, science or psychology classes, youth groups, clubs and after-school programs.

  • Delivered by a trained two-person team, one of whom is a young adult living in recovery with a mental health condition.
  • Includes presenter stories, educational slides, videos and discussion.
  • Provides teens with resources and tools to help themselves, friends or family members who may be experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition.
  • ETS reduces stigma through:
    • Education—provides accurate information about mental illness to promote understanding and dispel myths.
    • Personal contact—puts a human face to mental illness and provides hope that recovery is possible.

How is NAMI Ending the Silence Unique?

  • Offered to schools, youth and communities at no cost.
  • Provides youth with the unique opportunity to learn about mental health directly from family members and individuals living with a mental health condition.
  • Provides an opportunity for youth to ask individuals with lived experience questions directly.
  • By engaging youth in a discussion about mental health among their peers, teens dealing with mental health issues realize they’re not alone.

Key Messages of NAMI Ending the Silence

      • Mental illness is a medical illness like any other physical illness.
      • Mental illness is not anyone’s fault or something to be ashamed of.
      • There are specific, observable early warning signs of mental illness. You can help yourself and your friends by being aware of these signs and making sure treatment is sought as soon as possible.
      • If you notice these warning signs in yourself or a friend, it’s important to tell a trusted adult as soon as possible. Don’t keep warning signs a secret.
      • The earlier you seek treatment the better.
      • Although it may feel like it sometimes, you are never alone and there are many resources you can turn to for support and information.
      • Recovery is possible and there is hope.

Become an Ending the Silence Presenter

We are in need of Ending the Silence presenters (Young Adult ages 18-34, Lead Adult)

Teams of presenters for Ending the Silence include one lead adult presenter and one young adult (18 to 34 year old) presenter.

• The lead presenter will be an adult who is a family member of a person with a mental health condition.
• The young adult presenter must be 18 to 34 years old and living with a mental health condition in recovery who is willing to share there story of living with their mental health condition.

Learn More

Schools interested in a presentation or individuals interested in sharing their story can contact Andrea Mujica, Ending the Silence Coordinator at or call (641) 201-8450.

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