Learn the common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents.
Learn more about common mental health conditions that affect millions.
Find Your Local NAMI
Call the NAMI Helpline at
Or in a crisis, text "NAMI" to 741741
These 30-minute on-demand sessions provide a streamlined format for highlighting how-tos, innovations or new practices in mental health.
Track 1: Amplifying Youth and Young Adult Voices
Track 1 Flash Sessions
Track 2: Advancing the Promise of Research
Track 2 Flash Sessions
Track 3: Addressing Mental Health Disparities
Track 3 Flash Sessions
Track 4: Living Well with a Mental Health Condition
Track 4 Flash Sessions
Track 5: Supporting Stronger Communities
Track 5 Flash Sessions
This student-driven, social media campaign is designed to improve health literacy among young people and spotlight health experts from underrepresented communities. In the session, we will use this pilot as a template for how to design an evidence-based community engagement initiative that intentionally includes traditionally marginalized youth. Attendees from all backgrounds are welcome and will come away with an understanding of how to channel their passion into an effective and emboldening solution.
Amani Carson, Telehealth Epilepsy Care Collaborative Research Assistant, Boston Medical Center, Boston, Mass.
This presentation will detail the transformation of Active Minds’ signature suicide prevention program, "Send Silence Packing," for a virtual audience titled Beyond the Backpacks. Beyond the Backpacks offers an in-depth look at the stories behind the backpacks typical of the in-person exhibit. This program will highlight the power of storytelling, engage families and young adults in mental health education, connect participants to resources and inspire action toward suicide prevention by providing access to the moving content online.
Amy Gatto, MPH, Senior Campus Program Manager, Active Minds, Washington, D.C.
Hayley Harnicher, Program Manager, Send Silence Packing, Active Minds, Washington, D.C.
Research shows that nearly 1 in 5 youth are impacted by a mental health condition, but only half of people affected receive care. In the last year, the necessity for accessible supplements and alternatives to in-person youth education has become apparent. NAMI Chicago responded by developing a virtual platform to connect youth to information and stories about mental health and wellness and hopes to share this resource widely for youth and the safe adults in their lives.
Bryan Rosenberg, M.A., Training & Education Senior Coordinator, NAMI Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
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SMI Adviser is a SAMHSA-funded initiative, administered by the American Psychiatric Association, which aims to improve delivery of evidence-based care to people with serious mental illness (SMI). This session will provide an overview of the free resources available through SMI Adviser, including innovative education, resources and answers about these conditions for ALL providers on the mental health care team, including the person with the mental illness and their family members.
Teri Brister, Ph.D., LPC, National Director, Research, Support & Education, NAMI, Brandon, Miss.
Amy Cohen, Ph.D., Director, SMI Adviser, American Psychiatric Association, Santa Monica, Calif.
It is critical for health care professionals to understand the experiences that Black people have had with health care in general — especially the mental health care system. This presentation will provide a comprehensive history of the Black community’s distrust in mental health, mental illness, mental health services, medication and research in order to properly equip mental health professionals on how to engage Black patients and end the stigma of mental illness in the Black community.
Monique Carter, M.A., MBA, Founder and CEO, Jenesis CDG, Atlanta, Ga.
Morais Lee Cassell, Ph.D., NCC, M.A., M.S., Behavioral Health Specialist/Therapist, NAMI Georgia, Kathleen, Ga.
Laklieshia Izzard, Ed.D, Licensed Counselor, NAMI Georgia/Shekinah Counseling, Oxford, Ga.
Many students with ADHD, an often misunderstood mental illness, are radically disconnected while their schools are closed or only open intermittently. They need connection more than ever. One very useful form of connection is executive function coaching, which addresses impulse control, working memory, perseverance and persistence, among other skills. This workshop will help participants envision ways to help young people connect and ways to use that connection to improve their executive function skills.
Neil Peterson, MPIA, B.A., Founder, Chairman and CEO, Edge Foundation, Seattle, Wash.
Edwin Vega, Masters of Vocal Performance, Lead Trainer, Edge Foundation, Sunnyside, N.Y.
Youth and adolescents within the LGBTQ+ community are more likely to experience a mental health disorder than their heterosexual and cisgender peers. With the number of individuals that belong to the LGBTQ+ community increasing, it is imperative that professionals be informed and culturally competent to serve this population. After this session, participants will be able to identify 1) key considerations for treating LGBTQ+ young people and 2) evidence-based strategies to achieve respectful and inclusive care.
Megan McKim, Masters of Occupational Therapy, Clinical Manager, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
Jamie Sympson, Clinical Lead, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
Although often portrayed as “model minorities,” many Asian American adolescents and young adults struggle with mental health issues. Based on the 2016 Vital Statistical Reports, suicide is the first leading cause of death among Asian Americans ages 15–19. However, Asian Americans are less likely to seek mental health services, possibly due to low mental health literacy, stigma, lack of culturally competent providers, and lack of parental support and communication about help-seeking. This presentation will share research-supported parenting tips on how to reduce cultural and generation gaps and promote positive parent-child relationships between Asian American parents and their children.
Cixin Wang, Ph.D., NCSP, Associate Professor, University of Maryland, College Park, Md.
The stigma surrounding mental illness and help-seeking is a particularly potent barrier for first responders that results in mental health treatment disparities. Learn about research aimed at developing and pilot testing a chatbot to screen first responders for psychological distress, preferences and levels of stigma surrounding help-seeking, and how to refer responders to appropriate resources. This session proposes chatbot technology as a way to mitigate stigma and a solution to mental health disparities among first responders.
Tanner Baeder, Study Coordinator/Graduate Research Assistant, University of South Florida, Lakeland, Fla.
Jerome Galea, Ph.D., MSW, Assistant Professor, University of South Florida, Tampa, Fla.
Kristin Kosyluk, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of South Florida, Tampa, Fla.
"Operation Resiliency" is a program with an array of services provided to combat veterans who have experienced wartime trauma. This presentation will explain the components of "Operational Resilience" intervention, which include psychoeducational courses, physical activity, community service projects, peer mentoring and resource provision; discuss the impacts of wartime trauma, including high suicide rates and maladaptive coping mechanisms; and and highlight findings from veteran reunions on the importance of key constructs such as "unit cohesion," peer support and collaborations with community partners.
William Wilkinson, MSW, Program Manager, The Independence Fund’s Operation Resiliancy, Charlotte, N.C.
"Brain Stories" is a trailblazing podcast series chronicling stories of individuals and families affected by brain illness in their own words. Authentic, unflinching, radically empathetic — it’s unlike anything out there. Months before its public release, creators Janet Yang and Frank Kosa, with advisor Dr. Ruth S. Shim, will share the first episode. The special preview will be followed by discussion. The goal is to leave people moved, inspired and emboldened to tell their own truth.
Frank Kosa, Film and Television Producer, Santa Monica, Calif.
Ruth S. Shim, M.D., MPH, Luke & Grace Kim Professor in Cultural Psychiatry, University of California, Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento, Calif.
Janet Yang, MBA, President, Janet Yang Productions, Santa Monica, Calif.
Individuals often experience early episode psychosis (EEP) for more than a year before receiving treatment. Shorter duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) strongly predicts better social functioning, decreased hospitalizations and reduced risk for comorbid health conditions. Lack of coordinated care, misconceptions and stigma present barriers to accessing treatment. This presentation will highlight an interdisciplinary effort to improve access to care for people experiencing EEP. Learn strategies to improve EEP care within the health care setting.
Tia Cook, MSW, LCSW-A/LCAS-A, PSR Social Work Fellow, Durham VA Medical Center, Durham, N.C.
Robert Graziano, Ph.D., Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow, Durham VA Medical Center, Durham, N.C.
Lauren Hart, M.S., Occupational Therapy Fellow, Durham VA Medical Center, Durham, N.C.
While the prognosis for BPD has improved, complete and sustained recovery remains elusive. Symptoms remit, but temperamental problems remain, impeding social and vocational functioning. DBT is typically the first-line treatment for BPD, but it doesn’t always result in sustained functional recovery. The goal of this session is to bring awareness to alternative treatments available, specifically transference-focused psychotherapy.
Andrea Rosenhaft, LCSW-R, MSW, CEO, BWellBStrong, LLC, White Plains, N.Y.
Join artist and storyteller Micah Pearson as he shares sights and visions from his and others’ journeys of recovery. Sometimes haunting, other times beautiful — and frequently hilariously funny even when tragic — the art and stories shared will give participants an insider’s perspective on living with mental illness like no other.
Micah Pearson, CPSW, Executive Director/Director, NAMI Southern New Mexico/National Board of Directors, Las Cruces, N.M.
Peer Mentors are taking their entanglements with law enforcement, once a source of shame, into jail diversion centers. Using peer interaction increases engagement during the sessions because clients are typically provided services by clinicians, not by people diagnosed who also have a felony or addiction. NAMI facilitators in recovery demonstrate the possibility of what life can become, and the work is mutually beneficial. Peer Mentors and NAMI curriculum provide practical steps for the recovery journey.
Angelina Hudson, MPA, Vice President of Partnerships and Programs, NAMI Greater Houston, Houston, Texas
Police interactions with people living with mental illness too frequently result in a bad outcome, including jail and, sometimes, death. This program transforms police from a perceived threat into a conduit for community mental health resources and provides the tools and support law enforcement need for mental health intervention calls. This session will focus on developing programs that use the police to connect families and individuals to community resources, while simultaneously supporting police and reducing further interventions.
Patty Johnstone, Director of Resource and Support, NAMI DuPage, Wheaton, Ill.
Geri Kerger, M.S., J.D., Executive Director, NAMI DuPage, Wheaton, Ill.
This presentation will describe a collaboration between NAMI San Diego and VA San Diego to develop the Service and Leadership Team (SALT), an innovative intervention for veterans participating in treatment for psychosis. This group will help veterans find their advocacy voice to improve mental health services in their community. Learn about the background and development of the eight-session intervention and discover ways to build collaborations between local VA and NAMI chapters.
Erin Kennedy, Peer/Family Support Specialist, NAMI San Diego PeerLINKS Program, San Diego, Calif.
Samantha Reznik, Ph.D., Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) Fellow, VA San Diego/UCSD, San Diego, Calif.
Yuliana Gallegos Rodriguez, Ph.D., Peer Support Specialist Program Director, VA San Diego Medical Center, San Diego, Calif.
The NAMI HelpLine can be a source of help for individuals and their families affected by mental health conditions. It is also a source of help for other helplines across the NAMI organization. Join us to learn what resources are available, including NAMI HelpLine best practices, sharable resources, recruitment and training tools, Knowledge Center and what to expect from a NAMI HelpLine experience.
Dawn Brown, Director, NAMI HelpLine Services, NAMI, Arlington, Va.
Michael Densley, M.S., Adult Learning, Senior Manager, NAMI HelpLine Workforce Development, NAMI, Arlington, Va.
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Call the NAMI Helpline at
text "NAMI" to 741741