NAMI Announces the New Class of 2024 NAMI Next Gen Young Adult Advisors

NAMI Announces the New Class of 2024 NAMI Next Gen Young Adult Advisors

Posted on January 25, 2024

Arlington, VA – NAMI is proud to introduce the 2024 NAMI Next Gen class of 10 young adult leaders from diverse backgrounds who will inform and support NAMI efforts by representing the voices of lived experience. In 2021, NAMI created and launched the first class of NAMI Next Gen young adult advisors based on one of our guiding principles, “Nothing About Us Without Us.” The ongoing youth mental health crisis has increased the need to reach young people where they are. While 1 in 6 U.S. youth experience a mental health condition each year, only half of them receive treatment. “It’s a NAMI priority to bring together young adults to engage and elevate their voices of lived experiences from diverse backgrounds,” said NAMI CEO Daniel H. Gillison, Jr. “The NAMI Next Gen young adult advisory group takes the next step by giving them a chance to inform, advise, innovate, and co-create resources that meet the needs of young people where they are. I could not be more proud of and excited to welcome our third cohort of young leaders joining NAMI and helping us move this critical work forward." NAMI’s strategic plan prioritizes initiatives to get young people help as soon as possible, connecting them to available support and resources early, especially since 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14 and 75% by age 24. NAMI Next Gen aims to empower young people by providing a platform to share their personal stories to help reduce stigma and support others to realize they are not alone. To achieve this goal, our young adult advisors will share their thoughts, opinions, and feedback to help inform NAMI’s youth-focused programs, content, initiatives and new projects. Together, we will work to reach more young people to help connect them with support and resources for navigating mental health challenges. NAMI Next Gen Class of 2024:

  • Saanvi Arora (she/her) is 19 years old from Berkeley, Calif. She is committed to dismantling mental health stigma by prioritizing community-based education and care beyond emergency intervention.
  • Claire Bradley (she/her) is a 22-year-old mental health and inclusion advocate from Illinois. She is particularly passionate about increasing awareness and support for children and LGBTQ+ people with mental health challenges.
  • José Caballero (he/him) is 19 years old from Miami. He is actively engaged in mental health storytelling, multicultural intersectionality, and enriching mental health journeys for first-generation students.
  • Gregory Carnesi · (they/them) is 24 years old living in Seattle. They’re passionate about sharing their lived experience with depression, OCD, anxiety, and ADHD, and committed to empowering others with mental health conditions.
  • Adia Fadaei (she/her) is 21 years old from San Diego. She’s focused on a variety of mental health areas including policy issues, education, crisis intervention, and suicidology research related to youth.
  • Mary Lawal (she/her), is 22 years old from Washington, D.C. She had to advocate for herself to access mental health care. Since, she has focused her efforts on reducing stigma, advocating for youth mental health, and facilitating youth support groups.
  • Efe Osagie (she/her) is 24 years old from Michigan. She’s interested in pursuing mental health advocacy and social justice efforts based on her experience with severe depression and anxiety in college. She blogs about her lived experience to raise awareness and prevent others from feeling alone.
  • Clara Pritchett (she/her) is 23 years old from Philadelphia. She’s focused on the need to end mental health stigma in Black communities as well as her work on eating disorder prevention and body liberation based on her lived experience.
  • Trace Terrell (he/him) is 19 years old from La Pine, Ore. He has experience as a mental health activist and peer health educator, and he shares his experience to help others. He volunteered on a youth crisis line and worked on adolescent crisis intervention, peer support, and youth policy issues.
  • Lois Williams (they/them) is 23 years old from Lawrenceville, Ga. and currently working as a housing navigator for unhoused queer youth in San Francisco. They are passionate about dismantling the stigma surrounding mental health following their experience dealing with ableism in hospitals, inpatient centers, and schools.
The mission of NAMI Next Gen is to bring together the diverse experiences of youth and young adults to help address the mental health concerns of their peers and communities through increased awareness, educational resources, and services. NAMI looks forward to working with this new cohort of young leaders to address the youth mental health crisis in our country. For support for teens and young adults, reach out to the NAMI Teen & Young Adult (T&YA) HelpLine, a free nationwide peer-support service staffed by trained young adult specialists that understand what you're going through because they have personal experience. They’re available to provide support, information, and resource referrals to teens and young adults. They care and want to help you find a way forward. You can reach the T&YA HelpLine by texting “Friend” to 62640, click here to chat or call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).   The National Alliance on Mental Illness is 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 | | | | |


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text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).