Teens & Young Adults
Share Your Story
OK2Talk.org – Teens and young adults who live with mental illness can feel hopeless and alone. Many don’t know what’s wrong with them but feel like it’s their fault. Those who understand what is happening fear they can’t be helped. Because of the stigma attached to mental illness, it’s often hard for those suffering and their families and friends to talk about what they’re going through. But help is available, and it works.
The goal of OK2TALK is to create a community for teens and young adults struggling with mental health problems and encourage them to talk about what they’re experiencing by sharing their personal stories of recovery, tragedy, struggle or hope. Anyone can add their voice by sharing creative content such as poetry, inspirational quotes, photos, videos, song lyrics and messages of support in a safe, moderated space. We hope this is the first step towards getting help and feeling better.
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
If you would like to host a NAMI Ending the Silence presentation at your school, contact Paula Stafford at 800-583-1264 or email@example.com. If Ending the Silence is not available for your location, request that your local affiliate bring it to the community.