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Arlington, VA — NAMICon 2021, one of the nation’s largest gatherings of mental health advocates, will be virtual again this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The theme is Bringing People Together for Mental Health – The Time is Now and includes sessions focused on advancing mental health research, crisis care that focuses on building community mental health resources, culture and identity disparities in mental health, and youth and young adult mental health.
We hope to build on the success of last year’s virtual NAMICon with a format that provides greater access for anyone unable to travel and who may not have attended in the past. Please see the NAMICon Program Schedule for session descriptions and detailed information about special sessions, workshops, express talks and flash sessions that provide information on the latest scientific research, treatment innovations, education programs, public policy issues and many other topics.
On Tuesday, July 27, there will be a special plenary session: Fireside Chat with Michelle Williams, Grammy Award-winning singer, and Dr. Christine Crawford, associate medical director at NAMI. Michelle Williams, former Destiny’s Child member and author of “Checking In: How Getting Real about Depression Saved My Life — and Can Save Yours,” will speak candidly about her mental health journey and the lessons she learned about prioritizing her own wellness, normalizing mental health conversations and how she hopes to help others.
On Wednesday, July 28, the research plenary session, “Challenges and Opportunities in Mental Health Research,” will feature Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., Director of NIMH, and Dr. Ken Duckworth, chief medical officer of NAMI. Dr. Gordon will present emerging approaches and technologies, including the five-year Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) Schizophrenia research project, which launched in September 2020. He will highlight the importance of cross-disciplinary, integrative approaches to address the vast complexities associated with mental illness as we move closer to our goal of finding effective treatments and therapies.
NAMI has partnered with Well Beings, a multi-platform public media campaign created by WETA, the PBS flagship station in Washington, D.C., and the Youth Mental Health Project. On Tuesday, July 27, NAMI will share a first look from the documentary “Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness (Working Title),” slated for release in 2022, accompanied by a special message from executive producer Ken Burns. NAMI is a proud sponsor of this initiative that also includes a 34-city national engagement campaign with PBS stations around the country, sponsors, NAMI Affiliates and community partners.
The “Virtual” Well Beings Tour event, hosted by KQED, PBS San Francisco, will be centered on how to address the need for mental health resources and solutions for young people struggling with the stress of readjusting to life post-pandemic. Dr. Crawford will be featured as a panelist along with a PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs youth journalist and Myles Bess from Above the Noise.
Call the NAMI Helpline at
text "NAMI" to 741741