NAMI Sharing Your Story with Law Enforcement

The NAMI Sharing Your Story with Law Enforcement presentation program trains peers and families to share their stories during law enforcement trainings, such as Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training. After hearing these stories during their training, officers report experiencing more empathy and understanding for mental illness and they have an increased desire to adapt their response to people experiencing a mental health crisis. NAMI’s goal is to ensure that every law enforcement officer has this opportunity.

NAMI has developed Sharing Your Story with Law Enforcement as a presentation program that provides participants with:

  • An opportunity to understand the ways they can share their experience as a peer or family member affected by mental illness with law enforcement.
  • Tools to describe the barriers they or their family member faced in accessing treatment, help and services.
  • Tips on the best ways to share interactions they or their family member had with law enforcement.
  • How to effectively speak to – and answer questions from – a law enforcement audience.

Preparing NAMI Members to Present to Law Enforcement Audiences

Many law enforcement trainings like CIT include a Peer and Family Perspectives Presentation. After completing this training, peers and family members should be more prepared to present their lived experience during one of these trainings. These presentations provide an opportunity for officers to hear personal stories from people with mental illness and/or their family members. These panels help officers gain a better understanding of what it is like to live with a mental illness.

“This was an amazing experience and has contributed to me feeling like I am a skilled presenter and am able to make a contribution to better my community.
– NAMI Presenter, New Mexico
Since the academy, I was always apprehensive with dealing with people with mental illness. But now with NAMI’s presentation I have knowledge and more confidence.
– Officer, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, California