The Drop-In Center
814 Harrison St.
Oak Park, IL 60304
NAMI Education Offices
818 Harrison St, 2nd Flr.
Oak Park, IL 60304

NAMI’s Ending the Silence is a free classroom presentation that educates students on the signs and symptoms of mental illness, the importance of early detection and treatment and how to help themselves or their friends. Ending The Silence uses first person recovery stories from young adults who make powerful connections with the realities of mental illness, powerfully reducing the stigma associated with mental illness.  NAMI’s Ending the Silence reached over 8,000 students last year in West Cook and DuPage counties.

We are recruiting speakers! Are you a young adult and looking for a way to give back and work part-time? NAMI Metro Suburban is recruiting young adults with a mental health condition that are currently living well in recovery to share their story as part of our school education program. Speakers have the opportunity to give back to their community by educating students about mental health while also receiving a generous stipend. Free training is provided.

The Ending the Silence program includes:

  • 50 minute presentation about mental health for middle & high school students
  • Includes educational PowerPoint where students learn signs and symptoms of various mental illnesses
  • Emphasizes that mental illness is treatable and recovery is possible
  • Includes personal testimony from a young adult living with a mental illness about their journey to recovery
  • Engages students through Q & A session
  • ETS reduces stigma through:
    • Education – provide accurate information about mental illness to promote
      understanding and dispel myths
    • Personal contact – puts a human face to mental illness and provides hope that
      recovery is possible

NAMI Ending the Silence Outreach Video from NAMI on Vimeo.

Importance of Prevention & Early Intervention:
  • 1 in 4 US adults have a diagnosable, treatable mental illness 
  • 21% of youth (ages 13-18) have a mental illness 
  • 80% don’t receive mental health services Although 50% exhibit symptoms by age 14, the average delay between onset of symptoms and receiving treatment is 8-10 years 
It definitely opened my eyes to what I look for now to help my friends. I have a brother with ADD and now I feel that I can deal with him better because I know how hard it is for him.
I suffer from anxiety and it is very hard for me socially and with school. This makes me realize I wasn’t the only one.
I’m grateful for your presentation because it helped me get the courage to face a mental illness I think I might have and I feel encouraged to seek help.
You have changed my life forever. I now know that people can get help.

"Often times in health education, and unfortunately society today, the recognition of mental health issues as well as an open discussion of resources available are overlooked for a number of reasons. I feel strongly that NAMI’s Ending the Silence program has filled a large gap in our curriculum specifically related to:
• Identification of the major classifications of mental illnesses
• Resources for those with a mental illness
• Education on reducing the stigma associated with those with a mental illness."
    - Health Teacher, Illinois

If you are interested in learning more about the Ending the Silence program or scheduling a presentation for your school, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 708-524-2582, ext. 101.