Call for Proposals

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. For more information on NAMI’s goals, see the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan.

We are pleased to once again present NAMICon virtually in 2021 and are working to solidify the event dates for next summer.

NAMI is currently seeking proposals for Virtual NAMICon 2021 that encourage mental health education and innovation and are informed by theory, research and practice. As a completely virtual event, this is an opportunity to showcase your research to a global audience in a convenient, travel-free format.

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. You MUST submit by January 29, 2021. Notification of acceptance will be sent by March 26, 2021.


Guidelines for submitting a proposal:

Our Commitment

NAMICon Audience

The Tracks

Session Format

Submission Guidelines

Review and Selection

Sharing Resources

Notification

Accepted Proposals and Registrations

Proposals Deadline


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 strives 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 and be explicitly 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.


The Tracks

NAMI looks for dynamic presentations in the following tracks:

  • Amplifying Youth and Young Adult Voices — Spreading awareness, providing education and promoting empowerment are critical to encourage young people to prioritize mental health early in life. (Click here for examples)
  • Advancing the Promise of Research — Through continued dedication to research and scientific advancement, we deepen our understanding of mental health conditions and improve treatment options and support. (Click here for examples)
  • Addressing Mental Health Disparities — Anyone can be impacted by mental illness, but experiences and outcomes vary greatly depending on a person’s identity and background. To address these disparities, we must explore the intersections of culture, race, identity and mental health. (Click here for examples)
  • Living Well with a Mental Health Condition — Millions of people in the U.S. are affected by mental illness each year. Learning about symptoms, treatments and support can be an important step toward self-care and improving quality of life. (Click here for examples)
  • Supporting Stronger Communities — Strong communities depend on individuals with lived experience, peers, family members, professionals, broad coalitions and diverse partnerships — all with their own unique perspectives — using their collective voice to improve mental health services and advocate for meaningful change. (Click here for examples)

Within each track, we expect presenters to focus on one of the following areas:

  • Advancements in Research/Technology: How is your work in research or technology advancing knowledge in the mental health field?
  • Community Outreach: How is your community or organization taking an innovative or unique approach to coping with mental illness, particularly among populations who are underrepresented or underserved?
  • The NAMI Alliance: How is your State Organization or Affiliate working to improve the lives of all people affected by mental health conditions (through programs, public policy, awareness, etc.)?
  • Impact of Current Events: How have issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice and economic hardships impacted mental health?
  • Systems Navigation: What resources or information are you providing to help navigate mental health services and supports, including financial, care and treatment, housing, employment, legal and community outreach?

Session Format

Workshop
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 and must be accompanied by PowerPoint aid.

Flash Session
A Flash Session provides a streamlined format for highlighting how-tos, innovations or new practices in mental health. Your session is required to be 25 minutes long with no Q&A portion.

Express Talk
A short pre-recorded video that offers a quick take on a story, case study, idea or technique. A presenter is welcome to interpret this format traditionally or creatively and may either record a talk or edit together a video. If accepted, presenters will be required to submit the video prior to NAMICon 2021. Videos should be open licensed and no more than 10 minutes in length.


Submission Guidelines

All submissions must be made using 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 must not request a change of the workshop date assigned.

*Proposals that discuss the use of a proprietary product or service must have learning outcomes that are applicable outside the context of that product or service.

Successful submissions must:

  • Align with one or more convention tracks
  • Be interactive and engaging
  • Be presented by 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. Members of the Workshop Program Committee will review the submitted proposals and make final decisions based on the available time slots. 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 2021 tracks and/or topic(s).
  • 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 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.


Notification

All submitters will be notified about the status of their submission by March 26, 2021.


Accepted Proposals and Registrations

All accepted Workshops, Flash Sessions 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 Call for Proposals deadline is Friday, January 29, 2021, 11:59 PM EST.


SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL NOW