Raise Your Voice
NAMI Wisconsin is excited to launch our newest movement, Raise Your Voice, an initiative that empowers youth to create a new conversation about mental health through peer support and education, leadership development and civic advocacy.
The state of youth mental health in wisconsin
Across Wisconsin, 1 in 5 of our young people ages 14-24 are living with a serious mental illness and far too many suffer in silence. This is largely due to the lack of mental health support and education that is provided for youth and their families. Consequently, half of the students with mental illness drop out of school, end up in our juvenile justice system or die by suicide. The high school years and the transition from high school to college are critical periods in the lives of young people.
It is time we raise our voices to help our youth raise theirs.
State and federal priorities have identified a significant need to expand services and interventions for transition-age youth (ages 14 – 24) and provide early intervention. But, a gap remains – giving a voice to the young people themselves. There is no statewide initiative to cultivate youth leaders in the area of mental health in Wisconsin. Only one other state in the nation, California, has developed a statewide youth mental health leadership curriculum. NAMI Wisconsin will use the experience from California and develop a program that is designed specifically for Wisconsin young people.
It will be designed to:
- Empower young people to speak up and create an open dialogue about mental health
- Foster safe and accepting cultures that promote and support mental wellness for all
- Provide information, resources and tools for teachers, administrators, parents and youth
- Cultivate youth leaders around civic advocacy at the local, state, and national levels
NAMI Wisconsin will be a unique part of the solution by launching a new youth movement, “Raise Your Voice,” that empowers youth to create a new conversation about mental
health through peer support and education, leadership development and civic advocacy. Youth leaders will emerge who serve the critical function of linking their peers with school and community based mental health supports. The Raise Your Voice initiative will include opportunities to develop youth leadership in addition to the following programs: NAMI Ending the Silence, Honest, Open and Proud, NAMI Parents and Teachers as Allies, NAMI Basics, Say It Out Loud, NAMI on Campus and our newly developed NAMI Wisconsin High School Clubs.
Youth and their families will recognize early symptoms and be empowered to seek help. Youth will receive early intervention, education and support that will allow them to fulfill their education goals and develop into thriving adults. Investing in youth leadership will enable these future leaders to take control of the conversation and advocate to change the way people in Wisconsin think about youth mental health.
Click the image below to expand and learn more about the Raise Your Voice initiative!
NAMI Wisconsin High School Clubs
To create a culture that promotes the voices of youth within the school community, to increase awareness of mental illness, inspire advocacy and promote acceptance.
NAMI Wisconsin High School Clubs will be student-led clubs that:
- Empower student voices within the school environment to create a greater dialogue for mental health and wellness
- Offer an inclusive club where everyone is welcome!
- Create a group that works to reduce stigma on campus by being role models of acceptance and supportive behavior towards others
- Promote acceptance for students living with or who know someone who is living with a mental health condition
- Connect schools with mental health resources, services and support
- Improve school climate and student mental wellness
- Cultivate youth leaders around civic advocacy at the local, state, and national levels.
The clubs are open to all students, who:
- Are passionate about creating a safe and supportive environment
- Live with a mental health condition, are a family member or friend of someone with a mental health condition
- Have an interest in mental health awareness and advocacy
NAMI Wisconsin High School Clubs are not:
- Support or therapy groups
- A place to get diagnosed
- About identifying or labeling others who may or may not have a mental illness
Benefits for students:
- Develop leadership skills and become mental health advocates
- Expand awareness of mental health and wellness
- Have positive impact on peers
Benefits for the school community:
- Establish themselves as a school that values mental wellness for all
- Reduce stigma and discrimination against mental illness and foster a safe and accepting culture
- Offering an ongoing forum (club) that focuses on raising mental health awareness
- Establish or strengthen a relationship with local NAMI affiliate that connects students and teachers with mental health services in their community
- Students are identified as needing services earlier in life which results in less costly interventions later in life