Our organization: NAMI Sarasota County, Inc. MORE ON THIS PROGRAM namisarasotacounty.org
Has identified the following need/needs to be addressed:
NAMI Sarasota County has identified the need for evidenced-based, preventive programming designed to address behavioral/mental health needs of youth, aged 13-18, in middle and high schools, as well as in other community-based settings.
What is your connection to this organization:
Title: Executive Director
Describe a shortage or need in some area of your field or industry in Sarasota County:
We know that the start of many mental health conditions most often occurs in adolescence. Half of individuals living with mental health conditions experience onset by the age of 14. This number jumps to 75% by the age of 24.
Additionally, one in five youth live with a mental health condition, but less than half of these individuals receive needed services. Undiagnosed, untreated or inadequately treated mental health conditions can affect a student’s ability to learn, grow, develop and graduate from school.
The School setting provides a unique opportunity to identify and treat mental health conditions by serving students where they already are. School personnel play an important role in identifying the early warning signs of an emerging mental health condition and in linking students with effective services and supports.
NAMI Sarasota County has launched a program, with the support of the Safe and Drug Free Schools Advisory Committee of the Sarasota County School Board called Ending the Silence (ETS). The goal of ETS is to change preconceptions about mental illness by describing warning signs, presenting facts and statistics and by encouraging young people to access help for themselves or for a friend. By encouraging young people to see mental health as an illness like physical illnesses, they can then start to understand the role that stigma plays in preventing people reaching out for help. In addition, increasing parents’, teachers’ and school administrators’ awareness of behavioral health issues will help them to be able to support young people to access behavioral health services in a timely manner.
ETS is evidence-based and successful throughout the country. Bringing it to Sarasota County middle and high schools, in other community venues, and using multi-media can improve dialogue, and in turn grow the movement to end stigma.
Costs you anticipate potentially related to this need:
We are looking to not only bring the program into at least 12 schools (6 middle/6 high) in Sarasota County during the 2018-19 school year, to Teen Court, at least two community events, and provide an avenue for youth in our community to tell their stories via social media and video conversation. Our estimated budget includes materials for students in the classroom and at community events along with a post-survey, stipends and travel for youth presenters, and the video that will be designed for youth in our community to tell their stories via social media and video conversation.
• Materials (student Leave Behind Cards, ETS wristbands, mood pencils, brain squeeze balls) - $1,503.00
• Stipends/mileage for young presenters - $1,500.00
• Video production - $6,000.00 ** We are funding this aspect of their project.
Do you have any ideas or an overview of ways you might like us or other organizations to use to formulate a project or support mechanism for you: (optional)
Helping middle and high schoolers understand mental illness makes a big difference. Figuring out creative ways to connect with middle and high schoolers can be the challenge. Ending the Silence does this in the school setting where students get to see the reality of living with a mental health condition. During the presentation, a young adult in recovery and a family member tell their stories about mental health challenges, including what hurt and what helped. The program encourages students to share their experiences of the ETS presentation via social media.
Taking this a step further, in today’s world of multi-media, there is an opportunity to provide middle and high schoolers engagement in a video project related to ETS. This type of project furthers the conversation related to understanding mental illness, signs, symptoms and how to get help, but also the elimination of stigma surrounding mental illness.