In The News

Black Men Challenge Mental Health Stigma
Posted on Jun 22 2022
Dan Gillison, NAMI CEO, is featured on-camera for a segment. Black men are changing the narrative around mental health by leading major mental health groups including NAMI, American Psychological Association, and American Counseling Association. Their goal is to make better policy decisions and improve training and treatment options.
In Some Workplaces, It’s Now OK Not To Be OK
Posted on Jun 22 2022
Nearly 53 million Americans—roughly one in five adults in the U.S.—experienced some form of mental illness in 2020, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Since the start of the pandemic, perhaps as a response, some 39% of employers expanded access to mental health services, according to the KFF’s 2021 Employer Health Benefits Survey. “Ten years ago, no one was talking about mental health at work,” says Jessica Edwards, NAMI CDO.
Mental health groups express concern about readiness of new suicide prevention hotline
Posted on Jun 18 2022
Leading mental health and suicide prevention groups are expressing concern that the new, shorter number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline -- 988 -- will not be ready to handle an anticipated influx of calls when it's available nationwide next month. Starting July 16, people seeking mental health services can call 988 to access counselors and response teams at the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Hannah Wesolowski, NAMI CAO, told CNN that her organization is "really worried" about the increase in demand once people learn of 988 in July and beyond given that "call centers are struggling to keep up with demand now."
For 911 Calls, Are Mental Health Specialists Often the Better Choice?
Posted on Jun 13 2022
US News & World Reports
A recent Stanford University study on Denver's STAR program dispatches a two-person health team with a mental health provider and a paramedic instead of police for calls involving a nonviolent person with a mental health or substance abuse crisis. "We need to make sure these people get help rather than handcuffed," said Hannah Wesolowski, NAMI CAO. Mental health teams, arriving with water and blankets, create a different environment. "They ask questions: Does your head hurt? How are you sleeping?" Wesolowski said. "They connect with the person and try to get at the root of what's going on."
Intentional Overdoses Rise Among U.S. Kids, Teens
Posted on Jun 03 2022
US News & World Reports
"Our kids are really struggling," said Dr. Christine Crawford, associate medical director of NAMI. As the current findings highlight, the problem was "very real" even before the pandemic, noted Crawford. "It's hard for adults to imagine that a 10-year-old could be having thoughts of suicide," she said. As for what parents can do, Crawford recommended parents check in with their kids regularly, asking how they are doing and about their friends. "You're planting the seed," Crawford said. "You're sending them the message that you're there, and you're a safe person for them to talk to."
Teachers face mental health challenges dealing with school shootings
Posted on Jun 03 2022
ABC News
Dr. Christine Crawford, associate medical director for NAMI, said that exposure to horrific events like the Uvalde shooting "can elicit symptoms that are consistent with a trauma response, almost." Crawford explained that after hearing or reading about events like a mass shooting, people may notice they are more on edge or irritable and may experience other symptoms such as difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
Hannah Wesolowski on Mental Health, Guns, and Red Flag Laws
Posted on Jun 01 2022
Washington Journal: C-SPAN
Hannah Wesolowski, NAMI chief advocacy officer, is featured in a live, on-camera interview, discussing mental illness, misinformation, and explains ‘red flag’ laws. “It is rare that a shooter in this situation has a mental health diagnosis. When we focus on mental illness, it distracts from the topic at hand on how to address this gun violence crisis in this country. It also adds to the stigma around mental health, which has a tragic impact of discouraging people to go get the help that they need to get well and stay well. Mental health is health, and we should not be stigmatizing it in this way. We should be focused on solutions that really protect people.” said Hannah Wesolowski, NAMI CAO.
Congress is working on legislation to address children's mental health crisis
Posted on Jun 01 2022
Washington Post: Health 202
Roughly 7 in 10 public schools are reporting a rise in students seeking mental health services since the beginning of the pandemic, according to new federal data. But just over half of all schools were able to effectively provide services to all students in need. The Biden administration proposal would allocate $1 billion to help double the number of school counselors, nurses and other workers in schools over the next decade. “Schools offer such a unique opportunity for early identification, prevention and intervention services for kids where they already are,” said Jennifer Snow, national director of government relations, policy and advocacy at NAMI.
Bipartisan push on mental health crisis that COVID worsened
Posted on Apr 13 2022
Associated Press

A major effort to overhaul mental health care and substance use treatment in the U.S. is gaining traction as Congress and the Biden administration work on overlapping plans to address concerns across dividing lines of politics, geography and race. Top goals include responding to the mental health crisis among youth, increasing the supply of professional counselors and clinicians, narrowing a persistent gap between care for physical and mental health problems, and preserving access to telehealth services that proved their usefulness in the pandemic. COVID-19 has laid bare the need. “There is a very nonpartisan aspect to this — I wouldn’t even say it’s bipartisan,” said Hannah Wesolowski, NAMI CAO. “The need for a rapid scale-up of mental health services is one of the few issues where the parties can come together.”

Here's Why Breaks Are So Important When You're Working From Home
Posted on Apr 08 2022
U.S. News & World Report

If you’re working from home after spending months, or years, working in an office, you may find it hard to take breaks. “When working from home, it can be a little hard to figure out what a break looks like,” says Dr. Christine Crawford, associate medical director of NAMI. "In an office, breaks can be going to the water bubbler or stepping out of your cubicle to chitchat with a coworker.” These give you a chance to step away from what you’re doing and come back a little more focused. Another challenge is your day may seem to have endless hours, Crawford says. You end up working into the evening, and that can interfere with your sleep and make it hard to feel disconnected from work. Crawford has seen more anxiety and depression in her patients who feel too connected to work. “They don’t have enough time to do what they need to do, and at the same time, they feel there is time and feel guilty that they aren’t managing their time effectively,” she says.