Call for Proposals

We are pleased to present NAMICon as a hybrid event in 2022, combining an in-person convention experience with select events and sessions streaming online. The in-person component will be held June 15–18 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

As one of the largest community-driven gatherings of mental health advocates in the U.S., NAMI’s annual national convention connects and inspires people looking for resources, research, support and programming.

NAMI seeks proposals that encourage mental health education and innovation and are well-versed in theory, research and practice.

The Call for Proposals form can only be completed and submitted online. The form should be completed in one sitting and may take up to 45 minutes to complete. However, if you need to save your proposal and complete it at a later time, be sure to click “Save and Continue Later.”

The deadline to submit a proposal is January 31, 2022.

You will be notified about the status of your proposal by March 1, 2022.

For more information on NAMI’s goals, visit our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan.


Submit a Proposal

Guidelines for Submitting a Proposal:


Our Commitment

NAMI strives to offer an inclusive and well-balanced program to appeal to a diverse audience. We seek to provide an excellent experience for each convention attendee.

NAMICon Audience

Attendees of NAMICon are wide-ranging and include individuals with mental illness, caregivers and family members, mental health providers and NAMI grassroots leaders.

NAMI endeavors to include and thread diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) throughout all the programs, services and presentations of the organization. Your proposal should consider and explain how DEI and/or cultural competence will be addressed or demonstrated in your presentation. It should be clearly stated in the workshop description, objectives and recommendations. Additionally, NAMI is seeking workshop proposals from subject matter experts experienced in matters of social justice, racial and ethnic identity, and equity-minded practice.

Please consider whether your subject matter addresses the varied experiences, backgrounds, cultures and identities of our convention attendees.

Program Tracks

NAMI looks for dynamic presentations in the following program tracks:

Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Mental Health
These workshops will explore how to promote equitable mental and emotional support for underserved communities. NAMI is seeking workshop proposals from subject matter experts experienced in matters of social justice, racial and ethnic identity, and equity-minded practice. Proposal topics could include:

  • How mental health disparities have created barriers for marginalized and under-resourced groups
  • Mental well-being for boys and men of color
  • Mental health services in rural communities
  • How to reduce barriers to care
  • How to promote culturally competent mental health care

Transforming Mental Health Crisis Response Systems
Workshops in this track will focus on how the current response to mental health crises negatively affects individuals, families and communities. We will seek to answer the timely question: How will the July 2022 launch of the new 988 nationwide three-digit number for mental health impact crisis response? Proposal topics could include:

  • Crisis response models
  • Funding sources
  • Best practice models of mobile response services
  • CAHOOTS models
  • Barriers to care for people of color
  • Decriminalization of mental illness
  • Recovery for people with serious mental illness and criminal justice involvement

Engaging with Youth and Young Adults
NAMI is seeking presentations discussing firsthand accounts of the unique mental health concerns youth and young adults are currently experiencing. We welcome all presenters but would give special preference for youth and young adult-led presentations. Proposal topics could include:

  • Helping peers navigate systems related to education, employment, housing and health care access
  • The value of peer support networks
  • Telehealth for youth
  • The mental health needs of first-generation college students
  • Current trends and issues in the field of child, youth and family mental health (with an emphasis on the importance of integrated care)
  • Mobile crisis teams for children
  • Addressing trauma in children and adolescents

Exploring Innovations in Mental Health Research and Treatment
This track will explore the latest research and developments in mental health. Ranging from neurobiology to virtual peer support, what emerging trends, data and discoveries will shape the way we view and treat mental illness in the not-so-distant future? Proposal topics could include research about:

  • Specific mental illnesses and symptoms, such as personality and mood disorders, SMIs, trauma/PTSD and psychosis
  • Treatments, such as crisis care/hospitalization
  • Situations that affect people with mental illness, such as law enforcement response to mental health crises

Implementing Best Practices for NAMI State and Affiliate Organizations
This track will highlight best practices for helping NAMI State and Affiliate Organizations strengthen their capacity. We are looking for members of the field to share their organization’s efforts and leverage their practical experience with how-to workshops and case studies. Proposal topics could include:

  • Advocacy efforts
  • Fundraising best practices
  • Board development
  • Navigating COVID-19
  • Tips, tools and takeaways that participants can tailor to their own needs and the communities they serve

Session Formats

There are two types of presentations:

  • Workshops
    A 60-minute presentation delivered by one or more individuals, but not more than three people. Your session is required to be 45 minutes long with 15 minutes of Q&A.

  • Express Talks
    A short, pre-recorded video that engages the viewer with first-hand experiences and real-life examples and advice. Industry-sponsored submissions are not allowed. The video must be free of commercial bias for or against any product or service. Videos should be open licensed and must be no more than 10 minutes in length. If accepted, presenters will be required to submit the video prior to NAMICon 2022. Express Talks will be available on-demand ONLY on the NAMICon 2022 virtual platform.

Submission Guidelines

All submissions must be made through the online webform. Applicants must submit all required information for each speaker on the proposal. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.

Use inclusive and respectful language in workshop descriptions and presentations. Ensure diversity and representative points of view among co-presenters and throughout workshop content. Presenters may not use a workshop as an opportunity to spotlight a company, product or service. NAMI reserves the right to edit or modify all session descriptions for inclusion in convention materials.

If selected, all speakers must be available to speak during any timeframe of the convention and may not request a change of the workshop date assigned.

Successful submissions will:

  • Align with one of the convention tracks
  • Be interactive and engaging
  • Have no more than three presenters
  • Leave time for questions and answers
  • Offer tangible, take-away ideas or skills

Review and Selection

Submission of a proposal does not infer automatic inclusion in the convention. The proposal review process will be conducted by NAMI content experts who will review the submitted proposals and make final decisions. NAMI receives many excellent proposals, but not all can be accepted due to time and space restraints.

Selection Criteria:

  • Relevance of Topic: Relation to the use, practice, creation, evaluation, research or critique of mental health awareness and alignment with the NAMICon 2022 tracks.
  • Proposed Topic Coverage: Adequately cover content related to the proposers’ learning objectives or key stated outcomes.
  • Presenter Knowledge: Presenters have sufficient knowledge, expertise and authority to address this topic based on evidence provided in the proposal and/or prior experience with or knowledge of the presenter.
  • Value to Attendees: Concrete learning outcomes or key takeaways that will meaningfully contribute to attendees’ understanding and that are consistent with the session described.
  • Quality of Proposal: Clear, coherent written description that communicates to prospective attendees what the session will cover in alignment with the submission requirements.
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Extra consideration will be given to proposals that offer especially strong evidence of contributing diverse programming and/or supporting diverse voices.

NAMI staff will not provide guidance or suggestions to individual submitters during the submission period. Plenary Sessions and Research Updates will be determined solely by NAMI and are not part of the Call for Proposals process.

Sharing Presentation Resources

Presenters will be asked to upload related resources (documents or links) prior to their presentation. These resources provide support for the presentation and then become a part of the conference proceedings so that valuable information is accessible beyond the session. If your proposal is selected, you will be provided with instructions on uploading your presentation materials.


All submitters will be notified about the status of their submission by March 1, 2022.

Accepted Proposals and Presenter Registration

All accepted Workshops and Express Talks presenters are entitled to an exclusive speaker registration rate. All accepted workshop presenters are responsible for registering for the convention by the early-bird date and paying the convention registration fee. Please plan and budget accordingly before submitting your proposal. NAMI does not reimburse any speaker-related expenses, online tools, assessments, books or other presentation materials.

Proposals Deadline

The NAMICon 2022 Call for Proposals deadline is January 31, 2022.


Submit a Proposal