Jun 28, 2021
The culture of empathy that characterizes the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) can be traced to its origin story. Two women whose sons were diagnosed with schizophrenia, connected. They struggled to help their children and cope with the associated stigma. And both had been identified as the root cause of their son’s schizophrenia. What started as a series of kitchen conversations 40 years ago became NAMI, the nation’s largest grassroots mental illness advocacy organization. NAMI supports and organizes families touched by mental illness into a force for effective policy change. Daniel Gillison, NAMI’s CEO, examines how the mental health field has evolved and where it is stuck. We learn about the generational shift in perceptions that has motivated pop culture icons to become mental health advocates. But the alarming criminalization of people with mental illnesses, particularly in communities of color, persists. The potential for taking the police out of mental health interventions is within our grasp. But it will take Dan Gillison's call to action to fulfill its promise. Remember 988.