2018 NAMI Annual Convention Media Advisory | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Posted on June 12, 2018


Lauren Gleason: 
(703) 855-4176, [email protected]
Richele Keas: (571) 329-2495, [email protected]

Join NAMI in New Orleans for the Annual Convention connecting people affected by mental illness with resources, research and support 

WHAT:  The NAMI 2018 National Convention theme is "Live. Learn. Share hope." which describes the NAMI experience. Our collective voice spreads hope that recovery is possible, and families can be whole again. Hundreds of sessions feature topics across the mental health landscape from new treatments and therapies, to minority issues and Veterans mental health to dealing with the criminal justice system.  Attendees include individuals with mental illness, family members, caregivers, advocates, policymakers, educators, researchers, clinicians and press. 

WHY: One in 5 adults experiences a mental health condition every year. One in 17 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition to a person directly experiencing a mental illness, family, friends and communities are also affected. Half of mental health conditions begin by age 14, and 75 percent of mental health conditions develop by age 24. Early engagement and support are crucial to improving outcomes and increasing the promise of recovery. 

WHENWednesday, June 27 to Saturday, June 30

WHERE: Sheraton New Orleans, 500 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

  • Press Room Location: Oakley Room
  • Phone: (504)-681-5434
  • Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

WHO: Featured speakers:          

  • Tipper Gore, Former Second Lady of the United States, NAMI Distinguished Service Award Honoree
  • Honorable Peter Garcia, 22nd Judicial District Court in Louisiana, NAMI Sam Cochran Criminal Justice Award Honoree
  • Clark Gregg, Actor (best known for Agent Phil Coulson in the Marvel Universe), NAMI Ambassador and Mental Health Advocate
  • AJ Mendez, a former WWE professional wrestler, Author, NAMI Ambassador and Mental Health Advocate 
  • Brooke Johnson, Miss Alaska USA, NAMI National Ambassador


Thursday, June 28

  • 9:00 – 10:15 a.m., Opening Plenary: Super Heroes, On and Off-screen
    • ​Clark Gregg, actor, will discuss his personal and family experiences with mental illness and his onscreen super hero experiences as an actor and director in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Grand Ballroom)
  • Adobe Project 1324 "No Stigma, No Shame” 
    • Exhibit featuring the top five selections, from 105 entries, challenging the isolating stigmas surrounding mental health through creativity. (Exhibit Hall, Napoleon Ballroom)
  • 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Almost Sunrise Documentary Screening with Panel Discussion
    • The documentary is about two Iraq Veterans who struggle with depression upon returning home and tells the story of their resilience and recovery. The NAMI Veterans & Military Council Candlelight Vigil will follow the film screening. (Waterbury Ballroom)
  • 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., Jay Stolar 
    • performing an acoustic set from Raw Emotions at the NAMI Talks event. (Grand Ballroom)

Friday, June 29

  • 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., New Ending the Silence Presentation
    • ​Tipper Gore, former Second Lady of the United States, speaking on the importance of educating middle and high school students on mental health issues and how she is supporting the national roll-out of this program. (Grand Ballroom)

Saturday, June 30

  • 9:00 – 10:30 a.m., Research Plenary: What’s Next at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
    • Dr. Joshua Gordon, Director of NIMH, presents insights on the latest research findings and priorities for NIMH. (Grand Ballroom)
  • 12:30 – 1:30 p.m., Insane: America’s Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness
    • Alisa Roth, author and reporter, discusses her book about her investigation into the growing role of jails and prisons as our de facto mental healthcare system. (Rhythms I)
  • 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.,Therapy Dogs: Bringing Love and Leaving Smiles
    • ​Convention attendees will have the opportunity to interact with therapy dogs and volunteers from the Visiting Pet Program, New Orleans’ oldest and largest animal assisted therapy program. (Napoleon Ballroom)
  • 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., NAMI Celebration and Awards Banquet
    • NAMI Distinguished Service Award presented to Former Second Lady of the United States, Tipper Gore and the Sam Cochran Criminal Justice Award presented to the Honorable Peter Garcia. (Grand Ballroom)

Please see the full convention program for detailed information about major sessions and workshops that will present the latest scientific research, treatment innovations, education programs, public policy issues and many other topics.

About NAMI

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illnessis the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.
Join the conversation at nami.organd stay connected with #CureStigma and #StigmaFree on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Follow the convention at #NAMICon18


Email: [email protected]


For all other marketing and communications needs and requests, please contact [email protected]

NAMI HelpLine is available M-F, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET. Call 800-950-6264,
text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).