FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NAMI Queens / Nassau
1983 Marcus Ave. Lake Success, NY 11042 516-326-0791 www.btslessonplans.org


Contact:
Amy Lax
NAMI Queens/Nassau
516-759-1082


NYC PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE “BREAKING THE SILENCE; TEACHING THE NEXT GENERATION ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS”


Lake Success, N.Y. - March, 2006- NAMI (National Alliance on Mentally Illness) Queens/Nassau, sponsor of the educational program “Breaking the Silence: Teaching the Next Generation about Mental Illness” (BTS) is working with Dr. Fred Kaeser, Director of Health Education, Region 9, NYC BOE to educate students about mental illnesses. BTS teaching packets along with staff presentations on BTS and the importance of mental illness education are being given to NYC guidance counselors in Region 9.

“One out of ten children has a mental illness, but of these less than one in five receives treatment. I welcome the opportunity to promote classrooms where students and teachers can readily discuss depression, suicide and schizophrenia with the same openness as AIDS, cancer, diabetes and other important health issues,” explains Dr. Kaeser, who went on to say, “BTS materials are innovative and easy to use and are designed to overcome the stigma that surrounds mental illness in a compassionate, uplifting way.”

“The BTS teaching packets consistently receive high praise from teachers, educators and mental health advocates coast to coast, we are grateful for the vision and support of the Mental Insight Foundation (MIF) which has given us the opportunity to share an exciting model for mental illness education with NYC public school guidance counselors and students in this trailblazing district,” explains Janet Susin, NAMI Queens/Nassau President and BTS Project Director.

The Mental Insight Foundation was founded by Bill Kimpton to assist people in developing healthier mental attitudes and promoting meaningful insights into the human mind. The Foundation's goals are to enhance people's mental health and well-being; help make it possible for all people to lead full lives; and assist in reintegrating isolated people back into society while operating with a sense of compassion and respect for all living things.
BTS are user- friendly teaching modules for grades 4-12 designed to separate fact from fiction; combat the stigma of mental illness and promote early treatment. BTS fulfills the S.A.V.E (Safe Schools Against Violence in Education) legislation in NY State and meets the national health education standards for character education and violence prevention. NAMI is a nationwide, grassroots, self help, support and advocacy organization of people with mental illness and their families and friends. For further information on this initiative, BTS, and NAMI contact NAMI Queens/Nassau at 516 -326-0797, email btslessonplans@aol.com or visit www.btslessonplans.org.