Why Ending The Silence Matters

  • 1 in 5 kids experiences a mental health condition; only 20% of them actually get help
  • About 50% of students ages 14+ with a mental health condition will drop out of school
  • Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds
  • The earlier the better: early identification and intervention provides better outcomes

What Your Students Get

Moving stories from positive role models have the power to change kids’ views. The discussion gives students the rare opportunity to ask questions about mental health challenges to people who have lived it. The presentation’s message of empathy and hope encourages students to actively care for themselves and their friends. It also teaches them it’s okay to talk about what they’re feeling. NAMI Ending the Silence covers:

  • Early warning signs
  • Facts and statistics about youth and mental health conditions
  • When, where and how to get help for themselves or their friends
  • When it’s not okay to keep a secret

For more information go to: https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/NAMI-Programs/NAMI-Ending-the-Silence

Research Study: Testing the Effectiveness


  • For each school
  • Three classes received the ETS presentation and three comparable classes did not
  • The three ETS classes completed a 12-item research questionnaire before the ETS presentation, immediately after and 4-6 weeks following the presentation
  • The three non-ETS (Control) classes completed the same questionnaire on the same schedule as ETS classes


932 students: 530 from ETS classes, 402 from Control classes

  • 55% were female and 42% male
  • Less than half (47.5%) were White. 35% were Hispanic, 14% African-American, and 7% Asian
    Knowledge and attitudes changed for ETS classes but not for Control classes
  • Scores increased significantly following the ETS presentation and remained elevated over pre-ETS scores at the 4-6 week follow-up
  • Scores for the Control group students remained the same across all three administrations
  • The pattern (change for ETS classes, no change for Control classes) was similar for each of the 12 individual items and for each of the 10 schools


  • NAMI Ending the Silence is effective in changing high school students’ knowledge and attitudes toward mental health conditions and toward help-seeking
  • The effect is a robust one, occurring across different presenters, across different study schools, and across the diverse populations within those schools.