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Parents and Teachers as Allies


NAMI’s Parents and Teachers as Allies is an in-service mental health presentation for school personnel. It familiarizes you with the early warning signs of mental illness in children and adolescents. You will learn how to support students experiencing mental health challenges and how to effectively partner with families to connect these students to services early.

The presentation can range from one to two hours (as best fits your schedule) and is delivered by a team of trained presenters who represent a spectrum of experience:

  • Education professional
  • Parent of a child who experienced symptoms of mental illness as a child or adolescent
  • Individual living with mental illness who experienced symptoms of mental illness during their school years

Presenters will share their stories and allow time for questions and discussion.

The presentation offers key ways that education professionals can promote student success:

  • Identify needs and link youth with services early
  • Communicate effectively with families
  • Employ strategies for creating a supportive learning environment for students with mental illness.

The presentation also includes information about:

  • Suicide prevention
  • How to reach out and share concerns with a student exhibiting signs and their parents
  • Bullying prevention
  • Promoting resilience and wellbeing.

Why Should I Bring Parents and Teachers as Allies to My School?

The presentation gives you tools to identify early warning signs of mental illness and resources and solutions that may help. As a school professional, you are in a prime position to help students and their families navigate challenging territory. By understanding how to effectively communicate with families about this sensitive topic and by being knowledgeable of resources that are available to you, your students and their families, you can help students connect to the support and services they need when it matters most.

You can learn how school and family dynamics affect a child or adolescent who may be experiencing symptoms of a mental illness. Presenters describe their experience of early onset mental illness in a school environment from the perspectives of an individual living with mental illness and of family members. Stories and discussion illustrate the opportunities for positive and negative impact that these powerful dynamics contain. With increased sensitivity to these experiences, you can make creating a supportive learning environment for students with mental illness and helping connect students who may be showing warning signs of mental illness to services early a standard part of your professional practice.

What Others are Saying About NAMI Parents and Teachers as Allies

“This program gave me a new understanding of the importance of my role in early recognition of kids with symptoms of mental illness and the urgency of early intervention on their behalf.” – Education Professional

“My sister lives with schizophrenia but was so good at hiding it for many years. Few people out there understand what to look for. Thank you for the work you do in creating support for families and improving awareness for educators. What you are doing is extremely important.” – Education Professional

To schedule a Parents and Teachers as Allies presentation for your school, call (513) 351-3500 or email us at

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