NAMI Statement on the Tragic Death of Irvo Otieno | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

NAMI Statement on the Tragic Death of Irvo Otieno

Posted on March 22, 2023

Arlington, VA – The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) today released the following statement from CEO Daniel H. Gillison, Jr.:

“NAMI is outraged by the death of Irvo Otieno – an artist, a son, a human being. And we are heartbroken by the details coming out publicly about his death. People with mental illness are human beings – and each of us deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Tragically, whether we hear about it or not, the mistreatment of people with mental illness happens every day. It happens in the places we are all taught to trust, like our hospitals. As a nation, we must address the systemic challenges that repeatedly fail people with mental illness and their families, leaving far too many without hope. We cannot continue to allow any family to go through what Mr. Otieno’s family is going through. We need a compassionate and caring system that supports everyone affected by a mental health condition.”

The news and video of Irvo Otieno’s death can be triggering and traumatic. NAMI is here to help. If you need resources or support, contact the NAMI HelpLine, open Mon-Fri from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT, by calling 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), texting “HELPLINE” to 62640 or chatting at The NAMI HelpLine is a free, nationwide service providing support, information, and local resource referrals. If you or a loved one are in a crisis, please call or text 988 or chat at


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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).