TEACH ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS?
quiet about mental illness. They don't talk about their brother
who hears voices, their mother who stays in bed with depression,
or the counting rituals they themselves do before they can leave
their house. So our children become hidden victims. Afraid to
speak about their illness, or unable to recognize the symptoms,
they may deteriorate for years before getting treatment.
is second only to heart disease as the leading cause of disease
in this country and worldwide.* One in five people will be struck
by mental illness at some point in their lives. Yet there is a
deafening silence about it in our schools. Students in health
classes learn about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, cancer
prevention, and how a healthy lifestyle can prevent cardiovascular
disease, asthma, diabetes, and other illnesses, but many graduate
from high school without ever having had one lesson on mental
like this designed to destigmatize mental illness will help
millions get the help they need.
--Harold Koplewicz, MD
Author, IT'S NOBODY'S FAULT, Random House
proper treatment, the majority of people with mental illness
can return to productive and engaging lives.
--Surgeon General's Report on Mental Illness
THE SILENCE was developed for NAMI
(National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) as part of their
"Campaign to End Discrimination" to end this cycle of
ignorance and shame. NAMI
is a non-profit, grass-roots organization of families and friends,
with more than 1,000 chapters nationwide, dedicated to eradicating
mental illnesses and improving the quality of life of all those
affected by these diseases.
knowledge comes compassion for people they might have ridiculed.
--Anna Eng, Health Teacher, Manhasset, NY
who as parents experienced first hand the pain of seeing their
own children taunted and isolated by classmates, created these
materials. They hoped through education to create greater tolerance
for children like theirs. It was also their dream to create a
new openness about mental illness, which would encourage students
to seek treatment for themselves or a friend who might be experiencing
the onset of a major mental illness.