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Parents and Teachers as Allies


NAMI Parents and Teachers as Allies is an in-service mental health presentation for current and future 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.

What You Should Expect

  • Free one-to-two hour presentation includes presenter stories and group discussion.
  • Team of trained presenters represents a spectrum of experiences. Their perspectives include:
    • Education professional.
    • Parent of a child who lives with mental illness.
    • Individual living with mental illness who had symptoms as a child/adolescent.
  • Describes key ways education professionals can promote student success:
    • Identify needs and link youth with services early.
    • Communicate effectively with families.
    • Examples of classroom accommodations to create a supportive learning environment for students with mental illness.

Why You Should Bring NAMI Parents and Teachers as Allies to Your School

Skills that allow you to proactively care for your students

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.

Sensitivity to dynamics between students, their school and their family

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 Your School Professionals Will Receive

  • A toolkit, available in English and Spanish, with resources for education and support within your community.
  • Familiarity of early warning signs of mental illness in children and adolescents.
  • Increased empathy for the challenges these youth and their families experience.
  • The confidence and resourcefulness to identify potential students experiencing mental health issues and help connect them to the support and services they need early.

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

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