Find Your Local NAMI
Call the NAMI Helpline at
Or in a crisis, text "NAMI" to 741741
Tiera Hopkins loved to dance and was a fun-loving vibrant teen, said her mother, Jenny Morales. In 2012, at the age of 16, Tiera died of suicide. Morales’ grief still feels overwhelming, but she has become an advocate for destigmatizing mental health in teenagers and encouraging parents and teens to talk about it. Often people feel afraid to discuss suicide because they worry they’ll put that idea in someone’s head. But Dr. Ken Duckworth, CMO at NAMI, said that’s not true. “Mentioning suicide does not activate a new idea within people," he told TODAY. “You do not put suicide in someone’s head.” Duckworth said many survivors of suicide feel guilty that they didn’t notice a sign or didn’t do something and he wants them to know that a loved one’s suicide is not their fault. “It is valuable for parents to talk about suicide with their teens and to be really candid about it, and maybe even directly ask them how they’re feeling,” Duckworth said.
Cleveland Browns tackle Chris Hubbard joins "Good Morning Football" to discuss why staying in Cleveland was important for him and the stigma surrounding mental health for professional athletes. Chris discusses the stigma attached to mental health for professional athletes and his involvement with NAMI. The video includes clips from his NAMI Strength over Silence video.
Mayim Bialik says being quarantined has been a challenge for her mental health. The former “Big Bang Theory” star, who’s been open about her own issues with mental health, told Kelly Clarkson on her talk show that being home has not been easy. “Also, the notion it’s OK to not be OK. That’s some of the messaging NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, tries to really spread the word about. I’m not gonna sugarcoat it. It’s been incredibly taxing for many of us, especially those of us who struggled before.”
Long before COVID-19, the U.S. healthcare ecosystem was under stress. Constant political debates ensued about the high costs of healthcare while lamenting incomplete coverage and accessibility for vulnerable populations. The Hill brought together public health officials, policymakers and leaders from across the healthcare ecosystem for an online summit on Thursday, July 9 including a segment on Next Steps for Mental Health that featured Daniel Gillison, CEO, NAMI. (Video of the conversation)
Opinion piece by Dan Gillison, Jr., NAMI CEO and long-time mental health peer advocate Bill Carruthers, Jr. outlining the changes needed to effectively respond to people in crisis. A mental health crisis can be a frightening thing to the individual experiencing it as well as to people witnessing it. Those in its throes need help, but all too often get handcuffs. Our country needs to do a lot of learning and painful growing that includes a real conversation — and a real intentional change process — around policing and mental health, including the disproportionate effects on communities of color.
Only 1 in 3 African Americans who need mental health care receive it. Psychiatrist Dr. Jess Clemons of "Ask Dr. Jess" talks about using social media to break down barriers and provide more access to help. Gayle King mentions the NAMI HelpLine at the end of the segment.
A secondary health challenge is sweeping the country due to a domino effect from the coronavirus pandemic, anti-racism protests and a recession: increased bouts of depression and anxiety. Calls from across the nation to the NAMI helpline increased 65% between March and June. “The data tells us that people were experiencing high levels of anxiety and depression,” said Dawn Brown, NAMI director of community engagement. “They were reaching out for information around treatment and resources, but nearly all needed support, reassurance and encouragement.” Common early indicators of depression are changes in sleep and/or appetite, Brown said. “Anytime a person’s daily life is being affected in a negative way, they should consider what’s changed,” Brown added.
In the June 4-9 survey, which polled more than 83,000 respondents, nearly half (49%) of Americans between the ages of 18-29 exhibited symptoms of anxiety or depression. Women, Black and Latino Americans, and those without a bachelor’s degree were also far more likely to display symptoms of depression or anxiety. Dawn Brown, director of community engagement at NAMI, wasn’t surprised by this disparity. “I think the stressors of COVID-19 are affecting those marginalized communities more than people who are affluent and can work from home,” Brown said. NAMI has seen a dramatic increase in overall call volume to its helpline this year compared to the same time in 2019, Brown said. “A lot of our callers don’t have a diagnosis of a mental illness, but they are experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety, so [COVID-19 is] actually creating symptoms in people otherwise not affected by mental health conditions.”
Call the NAMI Helpline at
text "NAMI" to 741741