NAMICon 2024


June 3rd - Alliance Day

June 4-6th - Main Convention

Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel


NAMICon is where hundreds of dynamic and important voices unite to improve mental health for all through mental health awareness, education and advocacy.

It's where personal journeys are celebrated, positive change takes root, and new connections and community cultivate a safe space, fostering support, hope, and healing.

Why Attend?

Immerse yourself in a transformative experience!

There is something for everyone at NAMICon—whether you are living with a mental health condition, caring for someone who is, a NAMI grassroots leader, a mental health professional, or just starting on your mental health journey.

Come ready to attend over 50+ engaging sessions exploring important mental health topics and issues that matter most to you. Join dynamic discussions that challenge your thinking and share invaluable knowledge. Be inspired by meaningful moments and leave with new insights, tools and resources, that will reignite your passion for change.

NAMI Alliance Day

NAMI Alliance Day precedes the general attendance portion of NAMICon and is designed specifically for NAMI State Organizations and NAMI Affiliates. Presented by departments across NAMI National, this day is dedicated to supporting the great work taking place across the Alliance.   

Date: Monday, June 3, 2024

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Audience: Board Volunteers, Development Directors, Education/Program Managers, Executive Directors, Public Policy/Advocacy Leaders and Walk Managers.


We've curated an enriching experience with diverse tracks designed to explore and address critical aspects of mental health and well-being, ensuring that attendees will gain valuable insights and meaningful perspectives. Here's a glimpse into the compelling tracks we have lined up for NAMICon 2024.

Advocating for Access to Care
Join discussions on breaking down barriers to mental health care, addressing disparities and advancing policies that promote accessible and equitable mental health services for all.

Hope for Caregivers via Research
Delve into the latest research and innovative approaches that offer hope and support for caregivers. Explore how advancements in science and understanding contribute to the well-being of those who provide essential care to their loved ones.

Youth & Young Adults
Tailored for the unique challenges faced by the younger generation, this track explores mental health issues specific to youth and young adults. Lead and engage in conversations about support systems, coping mechanisms and fostering resilience during critical life stages.

Workplace Mental Health
Uncover strategies for creating mentally healthy workplaces. From stress management to cultivating positive organizational cultures, this track focuses on promoting mental well-being within professional environments.

Peer Stories
In this powerful track, people with lived experiences share their stories, providing a platform for empathy, understanding, and connection. Explore narratives that inspire, educate, and foster a sense of hope and community.

Help Not Handcuffs (Justice Diversion)
Discuss the intersection of mental health and the justice system, advocating for a transformative shift in thinking towards more compassionate and effective approaches. Explore alternatives to incarceration, emphasizing mental health treatment and support over punitive measures.

**Agenda is subject to change, check back for more detail as NAMICon gets closer.


time iconJune 3, 2024 10:00 am

Welcome & Opening Remarks

time iconJune 3, 2024 10:45 am

Impact Sessions

time iconJune 3, 2024 10:45 am

#NAMIFundraising: Getting the Most Out of Your Social Media Strategy

Let's get social! From Facebook to Instagram to TikTok, how are you promoting your NAMI Organization in the digital space to not only fundraise but to engage new, diverse audiences? Join the Field Resource Development Team as we discuss all things social media fundraising and awareness to build your local engagement strategy.

time iconJune 3, 2024 10:45 am

Building our Alliance by Reaching Diverse Communities

NAMI state and affiliate leaders are increasingly engaged in outreach, program and initiatives designed for diverse communities. They recognize that the need in these communities is great, that NAMI increasingly understands how to engage diverse communities and this engagement leads to new funding opportunities, new strategic partnerships and strengthening their organizations. This session will feature innovative ways in which NAMI at all levels - national, state and affiliate levels - are increasing their focus on engaging with diverse communities in new ways. This session will feature newly rolled out resources, tools and strategies to connect with diverse and minoritized communities.   

time iconJune 3, 2024 10:45 am

Embracing Advocacy: Tools to Help You Succeed

Advocacy is a critical yet often neglected pillar of NAMI's work. In this session, you will learn about what resources are available from NAMI National to strengthen your advocacy impact from advocacy campaigns and publications to grants and hands-on guidance. Attendees will walk away with an understanding of NAMI-specific advocacy tools and how to use them for their own state and local-level policy priorities.

time iconJune 3, 2024 10:45 am

Guide to Measuring the Impact of NAMI Signature Programs

This presentation will serve as a guide to measuring the impact of NAMI Signature Programs through numbers and stories.  Through the presentation, hands-on activities, group discussions and Q&A, attendees will learn the role impact measurement plays in program growth, and sustainability, along with implementing strategies to measuring program outcomes. The session will also touch upon ways NAMI can help NSOs and NAs to track and retrieve their program data for ease of use.

time iconJune 3, 2024 10:45 am

How to Build a Grants Program

Join us for an overview of how to build a successful grants program. We'll cover how to find grants, tips for grant writing, and advice on how to prioritize grants when you have a small staff. We will also answer your grants-related questions and take feedback to develop additional, virtual grants trainings.

time iconJune 3, 2024 10:45 am

Playing Cupid: How to Match Volunteers to Your Organization’s Needs

Volunteers are the foundation for the work that NAMI Affiliates and NAMI State Organizations do. They provide programming, assist with events and operations, and join Boards of Directors. They strengthen ties to the communities served and broaden support networks. Given the important role they play, taking an intentional and strategic approach to recruiting volunteers can go a long way in meeting an organization's needs, and fostering a stable and sustainable volunteer base. In this session, participants will receive tips and tools on how to: 1) identify their organization's needs; 2) find volunteers with the skills and interests to meet those needs; and 3) match volunteers up to opportunities with their organization.

time iconJune 3, 2024 10:45 am

With a Little Help from My Friends – How can NAMI State Organizations help Affiliates maintain good governance?

All incorporated NAMI organizations have an obligation to remain in good standing in their jurisdictions, including any and all mandatory filings at the local, state, and federal levels. NAMI organizations operate as nonprofit entities with many of the same requirements as other corporate entities within their state. On occasion, these administrative necessities take a back seat to the well-intended ambitions to deliver on the NAMI mission. This session aims to share strategies that refocus NAMI organizations to meet their requirements under the law so that they are free and unencumbered to do all the wonderful and supportive activities that help those in their community.

time iconJune 3, 2024 01:00 pm

Approaching our 50th anniversary: An update on our strategic planning process

Over the last ~6 months, we have been working with The Bridgespan Group to help us craft a strategic plan to guide the next phase of NAMI's impact journey. Today, we are coming together to share an update on the strategic planning process and an emerging vision for impact and theory of change to guide the work of our Alliance for the next five years. This vision outlines a path towards catapulting our impact by harnessing the full power we bring as a nationwide movement. It is informed by hundreds of voices across our Alliance and seeks to integrate the learnings and recommendations from 10X and DEI initiatives. Please join us to hear a preview of what lies ahead as we near our 50th anniversary.

time iconJune 3, 2024 02:15 pm

Impact Sessions Repeated

time iconJune 3, 2024 03:30 pm

Closing Remarks

time iconJune 3, 2024 06:30 pm

Welcome Reception

We are so excited to welcome everyone to NAMICon 2024!! Join us as we kick things off in the Mile High City! There will be food, drinks, a DJ, games and lots of amazing people. Can’t wait to see you there!

time iconJune 4, 2024 08:30 am

75 years of NIMH: Progress and Priorities

NIMH is celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year. In light of this milestone, Dr. Gordon will discuss the contributions of NIMH research to current approaches to care of individuals with mental illnesses and highlight priorities for research aimed at advancing care in the future.

time iconJune 4, 2024 10:30 am

Impact Sessions

time iconJune 4, 2024 10:30 am

"The Way Work Should Be"- Employee Workplace Well-Being Initiative

speaker headshot Jennifer Thompson
NAMI Maine

Discover "The Way Work Should Be" , an initiative designed for businesses to help them prioritize mental health and employee well-being. This tailored workplace program targets the business community, in offering a comprehensive approach that includes online and in-person courses on mental health and well-being as well as access to a resource library that includes videos, podcasts and a toolbox, along with information for developing a funding stream that includes building a NAMIWalks team.

time iconJune 4, 2024 10:30 am

Civilian Crisis Response: Transforming Public Safety Systems to Meet People’s Needs

speaker headshot Jackson Beck
Vera Institute of Justice
speaker headshot Christine Michels
City of Saint Paul
speaker headshot Claire Ryder
Resources for Human Development

Parallel to the implementation of 988 and unprecedented investments in crisis services, an increasing number of communities across the country have launched civilian crisis responses with a focus on 911 callers who would otherwise receive police responses by default. This discussion will examine the implementation of these programs in New Orleans and St. Paul, as well as the Vera Institute’s efforts to ensure that system changes are data-informed and accountable to directly impacted communities.

time iconJune 4, 2024 10:30 am

College Life with Psychosis: Transforming Educational Environments and Communities

speaker headshot Cecilia McGough
Students With Psychosis
speaker headshot Rei Scott
Students With Psychosis
speaker headshot Emeka Chima
Students With Psychosis

Students With Psychosis is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that empowers student leaders and advocates worldwide through community building and collaboration. This session will be presented by three Students With Psychosis members. The panel will have a mix of storytelling and discussion followed by a Q&A. The discussion and storytelling will highlight intersectionality, academic accommodations, and action points on transforming community, workplace, and educational environments.

time iconJune 4, 2024 10:30 am

Crisis Can't Wait: Advancing Equity in Mental Health Care

speaker headshot Darcy Gruttadaro
NAMI National

This session will provide innovative ways that communities are tackling the need to advance equity in access to mental health care for people in Black/African Ancestry communities experiencing serious mental health conditions. Participants will learn about strategic partnerships, building community, new resources to use in outreach and more. Much important work is happening on 988, this session explores how we leverage that work for good. Speakers listed are placeholders and to be confirmed.

time iconJune 4, 2024 10:30 am

From Roots to Resilience: Fostering Healthy Minds in Youth

speaker headshot James Garofalo
Lokiten Behavioral Health
speaker headshot Christina Camomilli-Starkey
Lokiten Behavioral Health

Our presentation explores how children's early thought & behavior patterns can lead to mental health issues. It highlights the limitations of current systems & attendees will be challenged to think innovatively & more inclusively. Featuring a mother's story about losing her teen to suicide, this session emphasizes the need for awareness & action in nurturing children's creative development & mental well-being, urging proactive steps from parents, educators, leaders, & health professionals.

time iconJune 4, 2024 10:30 am

Hope Anchored in Evidence: Empowering Caregivers through Mental Health Literacy

speaker headshot Pernille Bülow
Mind Blossom, Inc.

This session delves into the science behind the underappreciated potential of mental health literacy for caregivers supporting people with mental illnesses, highlighting its positive effects on their well-being and coping skills. We explore the broader social and economic implications and the current gaps in knowledge. We end by putting forth innovative, practical and accessible solutions for implementation.

time iconJune 4, 2024 10:30 am

Mission Zero: NH's Collaborative Initiative to Eliminate Emergency Department Boarding

speaker headshot Susan Stearns

speaker headshot Julianne Carbin

Despite adoption of a 10-Year Mental Health Plan and significant investment, NH continues to face emergency department boarding. NH DHHS and its partners developed the Mission Zero initiative to address 3 key drivers to this issue – front door, inpatient supply & coordination, and back door issues. Through this collaborative initiative the partners have forged an alliance to help all Granite Staters access the right care at the right time so that they can live full lives in their communities.

time iconJune 4, 2024 10:30 am

Our Job Is Not Done: A Renewed Focus on Mental Health Parity

speaker headshot Roland Behm
Georgia Mental Health Policy Partnership
speaker headshot Kim Jones
NAMI Georgia
speaker headshot Jennifer Snow
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Mental health is health, but too often health insurance won’t cover mental health care equally, or at “parity,” with physical health care. However, the fight for parity is heating up again with new federal rules aimed at ensuring that services are available without long waits or excessive out-of-pocket costs. States are also finding innovative ways to ensure people can access mental health benefits with fewer barriers. Hear from policy experts about what new tools exist to enforce parity.

time iconJune 4, 2024 10:30 am

Stress: Science, Symptoms and Healing Strategies

speaker headshot Devika Bhushan
Stanford University
speaker headshot Rachel Gilgoff
UCAAN: UCLA UCSF ACEs and Family Resilience Network

This lecture will review the four stress responses; the role of positive, tolerable, and toxic stress, how getting stuck in 'survival mode' impacts health; and concrete healing tools and strategies for both children and caregivers to thrive after adversity. This will include: Dan Seigel’s Window of Tolerance, Bruce Perry’s “Regulate, Relate, Reason,” and stress-informed approaches to supportive relationships, sleep, nutrition, physical activity, mindfulness, nature, and mental health care.

time iconJune 4, 2024 01:30 pm

Impact Sessions

time iconJune 4, 2024 01:30 pm

A Curious Trip: The Present and Future of Psychedelic Treatments for Mental Illness

This talk will describe the current landscape of psychedelic treatment for mental illness in the United States. Topics will include the legal status of psychedelic treatments, a synopsis of the most studied treatments and their corresponding research findings, the applicability of recovery principles in psychedelic treatment, recommendations for individuals pursuing these treatments and for their families, and finally, challenges and open questions in the field.

time iconJune 4, 2024 01:30 pm

Building Collaborations in Faith Communities

speaker headshot Chris Miller
NAMI FaithNet Advisory Group Member
speaker headshot Ray Merenstein
NAMI Colorado
speaker headshot Babu Mathew
NAMI Colorado
speaker headshot Cynthia McKnight
NAMI FaithNet
speaker headshot Dawn Brown

Details Coming Soon!

time iconJune 4, 2024 01:30 pm

Creating a Culture of Care; Prioritizing Employee Wellness in the Workplace

speaker headshot Kristen Rasmussen
speaker headshot Jeremy Butler

In this interactive discussion, participants will learn about innovative ways to prioritize workplace wellness, to help staff achieve a strong work-life balance. We will explore ways to incorporate DEIB-Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, into existing workplace culture to create environments where staff feel valued, seen and heard which in turn empowers them to have more to give to clients. We will offer practical ways to think differently and transform culture for stronger outcomes.

time iconJune 4, 2024 01:30 pm

Creating Access In Mental Health Deserts

speaker headshot David Kendrick
Lion Speaking Agency

Creating access to care for people living in mental health deserts. Just like a food desert (an area that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food), we have mental health deserts in America. A mental health desert means there is a large area where people have limited access to affordable and mentally nutritious services. In my session, I want to teach people how to advocate for access to mental health care in their remote communities.

time iconJune 4, 2024 01:30 pm

Crisis Intervention: Explore the Memphis Model with CIT Maine

speaker headshot Hannah Longley
NAMI Maine

CIT International discusses the 5-legged stool of the Memphis Model, however oftentimes times the primary focus of work is on police officer training. Critical components of a successful program also include community collaboration, a vibrant and accessible crisis system, behavioral health staff training, and family, consumers, and advocates collaborate and educate. CIT Maine has built a solid foundation with data and collaborations for individuals and communities.

time iconJune 4, 2024 01:30 pm

Echoes of Transformation: Going from Patient to Provider

speaker headshot Paris Scobie
Live Well Bipolar ™

My session is focused on the 3 biggest lessons I learned going from being a patient when I was hospitalized at 19, struggling tremendously with my mental health, to returning to work at this same facility 4 years later. These 3 lessons are: the power of our thoughts, the role of cultivating support networks and the importance of tracking habits. I will expand on the powerful lessons I learned being on both sides – as a patient in the system and as a dedicated worker striving to make an impact.

time iconJune 4, 2024 01:30 pm

How The Digital World Potentially Reinforces Insecure Attachment in Relationships

speaker headshot Barbara Nosal
Newport Healthcare
speaker headshot Don Grant
Newport Healthcare

The possible unfavorable influence of a caregiver's device engagement on attachment style is the basis for a research investigation currently being conducted by the session presenters. These two globally-recognized experts in healthy device management, attachment, family systems, and adolescent treatment will discuss this issue, their research study, and offer recommendations to help avoid the potential negative impact of a caregiver's device use on attachment bonding with their children

time iconJune 4, 2024 01:30 pm

Body Empowerment Project: Preventing Eating Disorders in BIPOC Youth

speaker headshot Clara Pritchett
Body Empowerment Project

Details Coming Soon!

time iconJune 4, 2024 01:30 pm

Roadmap to Change: How NAMI Kansas is Impacting the Criminal Justice System

speaker headshot Brittany Harmes
NAMI Kansas
speaker headshot Itzel Moya
NAMI Kansas
speaker headshot Becca Lane

Participants will learn about two NAMI Kansas projects: Assisted Outpatient Treatment and the Justice Involved Person Project that are placed in courts, jails, and state prisons. The impact, success, and lessons learned from these projects alongside how NAMI Kansas has adapted signature programming for correctional settings will be discussed. Finally individuals will hear from Becca Lane at National on how to work with National on these adaptations and what fidelity looks like for these programs

time iconJune 4, 2024 01:30 pm

Telling Your Story Through Drawing Comics: A Guided Workshop

speaker headshot Jeannie Mecorney
Sequential Artists Workshop

Graphic Medicine can be explained as the intersection between the medium of comics and the discourse of healthcare. These stories in book or short zine format create reader empathy through heartfelt, intimate drawings. As visual creatures we are moved by pictures and images. I believe in the importance of story and that we are all able to draw our stories. Join me for a look at current graphic medicine novels and create your own short [8 page] personal zine from a single piece of paper.

time iconJune 4, 2024 01:30 pm

The Impact of Mental Health Conditions and Suicide on Executives

speaker headshot Michael Ortoll
Christine Ortoll Charity
speaker headshot Nicholas Abid
NAMI Florida
speaker headshot Mike Radu
speaker headshot John Kissinger

We typically think “ this can’t happen to us” but mental health issues impact everyone, independent of their socioeconomic status. Our goal is to raise awareness from Boardrooms to the assembly line floor that mental illness and substance abuse impact anyone, especially in the workplace no matter what the setting, and we need to prevent illness by talking about it, understanding it, and building integrated systems of care in our communities to better address it in its earliest forms.
time iconJune 4, 2024 02:45 pm

Impact Sessions

time iconJune 4, 2024 02:45 pm

"I Never Liked Lasagna": Navigating the Layers of Eating Disorders

speaker headshot Risha Hegde
NAMI/ University of Georgia Graduate

This session will spotlight eating disorders, body image, and the post-COVID impact. Leading "Body Talks," a peer-led program at the University of Georgia, and serving as the former NAMI chapter president, highlights the transformative impact of open discussions about eating disorders and their stigma. I value unfiltered dialogues when it comes to this subject, and believe presenting facts, ideas and my own experiences at NAMICon will continue the candid conversation to foster support and resilience.

time iconJune 4, 2024 02:45 pm

Addressing the Mental Health Myths and Barriers for Men in the Black/African Ancestry Community

speaker headshot Mark Harrison

Goal is to start conversations about mental health in African American men and develop a tool kit for supportive resources, impactful programs, educational resources, and access to additional support when needed.Evaluate the mental health concerns of men and how it affects us as men in the space; Discuss and share resources that will help other brothers in their walk-in fatherhood centered around building the family and assisting in maintaining relationships.

time iconJune 4, 2024 02:45 pm

Cultivating Resilient Thriving in Ourselves and Others.

speaker headshot David Palmer
Inclusion Matters Education Services

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the challenges of supporting others who are neurodevelopmentally diverse (neurodivergent, trauma-impacted, or navigating mental-health challenges), while struggling to balance their needs with your own well-being and sense of purpose? Explore the Resilient SEQUOIA Model to support others while cultivating your well-being. Learn key strategies for understanding, empathy, and practical support, transforming life into a journey of growth, resilience, and thriving.

time iconJune 4, 2024 02:45 pm

Cultivating Youth Leadership: Mental Health Programs on Campus

speaker headshot Amanda Wilson-Eck
NAMI Orange County
speaker headshot Austin Messick
NAMI Orange County

Sharing the innovative programs offered to teens & young adults at NAMI Orange County that can be adapted for any NAMI affiliate. Programs include NAMI on Campus Clubs, “Happy Hour” self-care nights, Honest Hour webinars, and our Anxiety Sucks podcast. These programs empower TAY to take charge of their mental health and share their experiences. We will also discuss how we partner with local high schools to offer Ending the Silence.

time iconJune 4, 2024 02:45 pm

Empowering Wellness Through Support

speaker headshot Kimberly Comer
speaker headshot Diane Banks
Monarch Mental Wellness

This session focuses on how to utilize the know that we have as peers to facilitate our own wellness as peers. There will be an emphasis on staying well while working in the field as a peer in the mental health field..

time iconJune 4, 2024 02:45 pm

Finding Your Happiest Place Within with Karena Dawn

speaker headshot Karena Dawn
The Big Silence Foundation and Tone It Up

Join Karena Dawn, founder of Tone It Up, the leading fitness and lifestyle brand, and of The Big Silence mental health foundation, for a revitalizing experience that will awaken your body and mind. Karena shares practices and tools to guide and inspire you to turn your challenges into triumphs. Through fun, meditation, movement, and an inspirational and educational mental health discussion, she will motivate you to feel confident, empowered, fulfilled, and excited about life’s journey.

time iconJune 4, 2024 02:45 pm

Health Care, Not Handcuffs: Shaping the Future of Crisis Response Workforce

speaker headshot Leah Pope
Columbia University/NYSPI
speaker headshot amy watson
Wayne State University
speaker headshot Michael Compton
Columbia University

Providing health care, not handcuffs, when a person is experiencing a mental health crisis requires a workforce prepared to do this crucial work without relying on law enforcement unless significant safety or criminal concerns are present. This session will highlight NAMI-funded work being done to lay the foundations for this workforce and elaborate the steps for establishing it as a new professional role—that of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Crisis Responder (CBHCR).

time iconJune 4, 2024 02:45 pm

InsideU: Social Emotional Learning with Disney & Pixar's Inside Out

speaker headshot Jack Kim
NAMI Boulder County
speaker headshot Sam Hubley
Renée Crown Wellness Institute, University of Colorado Boulder
speaker headshot Morgan Johnson
University of Colorado Boulder
speaker headshot Marie Olivett
Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver

This session presents a novel collaboration with Pixar Animation Studios to adapt their film Inside Out into a social emotional learning program called InsideU. InsideU is a cost-free, web-based application designed for 6–12 year-olds that includes online learning modules on emotional awareness and regulation. InsideU uses the model of Entertainment Education and includes a series of episodes that are interactive, choose your-own-adventure stories. A panelist QnA will follow the presentation.

time iconJune 4, 2024 02:45 pm

The Intersection of Law & Medicine: The Innovative Collaboration of Forensic Psychiatry and Jail Diversion

speaker headshot Patricia Ortiz
TTUHSC El Paso Department of Psychiatry
speaker headshot Daniela Chisolm
El Paso County Attorney's Office

Coalitions have the power to span gaps, scale up excellent practice and amplify diverse voices. Learn from the Advancing Behavioral Health Initiative, an 8-year collaboration between 10 local coalitions and the Medical College of Wisconsin. Learn how a state coalition, the Mental Health Action Partnership leverages local coalition experience to gather diverse stakeholders in a learning community, achieve consensus on policy goals, and promote ongoing system improvement. Explore NAMI’s role.

time iconJune 4, 2024 02:45 pm

The Wellness Waterfall: Improve workplace outcomes through sustainable leadership and wellness practices.

speaker headshot Jenna Sage

In this session, participants will be exposed to the simile of the Wellness Waterfall and its potential impact on organizational key indicators like retention, engagement, and satisfaction including industry trends. The Wellness Waterfall is influenced by skills (learning and development), will (self-care and self-regulation), and fills (reward and recognition) which influence healthy and sustained behavior change at the individual and organizational levels.

time iconJune 4, 2024 02:45 pm

What's Happening Now in DC? Federal Mental Health Policy in 2024 and Beyond

speaker headshot Jennifer Snow
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
speaker headshot Hannah Wesolowski
NAMI National

A perennial NAMI-Con favorite, during this session NAMI National staff will provide a recap of major federal developments in mental health policy and how NAMI is continuing to set the tone with federal policy makers. We will also examine the upcoming elections and what that may mean for mental health in 2025.

time iconJune 4, 2024 04:00 pm

Beyond the Battlefield: Unveiling Unique Challenges in Veterans' Mental Health

Join us for a thought-provoking panel discussion on the unique needs of veterans' mental health. This session aims to shed light on the profound challenges faced by veterans as they navigate the complexities of mental health post-service. Our panel of experts will discuss the hurdles veterans encounter, including PTSD, transition stress, and the stigma surrounding mental health care in military culture. Through personal insights, research, and practical strategies, we'll explore innovative approaches to support and empower veterans on their path to healing.

time iconJune 5, 2024 08:30 am

Opening Plenary

Details Coming Soon!

time iconJune 5, 2024 10:00 am

Impact Sessions

time iconJune 5, 2024 10:00 am

Affect, othering, and value-based markers of schizophrenia lived experiences: Building meaningful, respectful, JEDI-oriented relationships

speaker headshot Nadika Paranamana, Psy.D.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs/Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry

Based on findings from a 2023 phenomenological study on affectivity in schizophrenia, this session offers important insights and language for caregivers and providers about the concepts of "affective proximity," "experiences of othering" and "value-based markers of being in the world" to help develop meaningful, and justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI)-oriented relationships with persons diagnosed with schizophrenia.

time iconJune 5, 2024 10:00 am

Barriers Before & After Incarceration: The Impact on My Mental Health and Society Reintegration

speaker headshot Kimberly Comer
speaker headshot Diane Banks
Monarch Mental Wellness
speaker headshot Felishia McPherson
NAMI North Carolina

The session is about the lived experience of 3 formerly incarcerated peers and the impact it had on their mental health. To include discussion on barriers that were present & the impact they had on the peers state of mental wellness. Also including tools and resources that have been gained from NAMI that would have been beneficial on their journey to recovery/mental wellness. Discussion includes their lived experience testimony of tools such as Competency Hearings & Restoration.

time iconJune 5, 2024 10:00 am

Helping People in Crisis: From 988 to a Crisis Continuum of Care

speaker headshot Hannah Wesolowski
NAMI National
speaker headshot Margie Balfour
Connections Health Soutions

This session that will give conference go-ers an overview of NAMI’s priority and vision around 988 and crisis care. 

time iconJune 5, 2024 10:00 am

Mental Health Inequities: An Economic Burden

speaker headshot Nelson Dunlap
Meharry Medical College School of Global Health
speaker headshot Caroline Fisher-O'Neill

Presenting on a report entitled The Economic Burden of Mental Health Inequities, This report aims to offer an understanding of the economic impact of our failure of over 165 years since the passage of the Bill for the Benefit of the Indigent Insane to invest in equity-focused behavioral health interventions, services, treatments, supports, and programs. The report included policy recommendations to address political determinant of behavioral health, investments, and culturally centered care.

time iconJune 5, 2024 10:00 am

Workplace Mental Health by the Numbers: NAMI's New Annual Poll

speaker headshot Barb Solish
NAMI National
speaker headshot Meg Delp
NAMI National

Join us for an enlightening look at the latest findings from NAMI's new annual workplace mental health polling data. Through a comprehensive survey, NAMI has gathered invaluable insights into the state of mental health within workplaces across various sectors. From understanding the current experience of the American worker to evaluating the knowledge of existing support systems, this presentation promises to offer a nuanced perspective on the intersection of mental health and the workplace.

Discover key trends, emerging patterns, and potential areas for improvement with NAMI’s Workplace Mental Health team. Whether you're an HR professional, a business leader, or an advocate for mental health awareness, this presentation equips you with the knowledge and tools necessary to foster a healthier and more supportive work environment for all.

time iconJune 5, 2024 10:00 am

Questify Your Life: Using Gamification and Positive Psychology for Self-satisfaction

speaker headshot Sierra Grandy
Questify Your Life LLC

In this session, Sierra will share her passion for leveraging evidence-based techniques, including gamification and positive psychology, to add a sense of adventure, accomplishment, and fun to everyday life. Stories about how she uses this system in her mental health recovery are a focus of the presentation. Sierra will teach you how to create a personalized "Questify Your Life" system: establish your character, design fulfilling quests, and map your journey.

time iconJune 5, 2024 10:00 am

Reentry Rethought: Leveraging Medicaid for Enhanced Mental Health & Substance Use Support Upon Community Return

speaker headshot Jennifer Snow
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
speaker headshot Shannon Scully

People with mental health conditions are overrepresented in our nation’s jails and prisons and when people leave incarceration, there are many challenges to successfully reentering their communities. This session will explore new policies that allow Medicaid to cover some services prior to people being released from prison or jail have the potential to improve the health and wellbeing of people with mental health and substance use conditions.

time iconJune 5, 2024 10:00 am

Trauma Awareness: Resources for Professionals Serving Youth

speaker headshot Donielle Prince

NAMI’s Youth and Young Adult Initiatives Hub will provide an exclusive preview of video highlights from NAMI’s new, on-demand, Trauma Awareness Training, scheduled to launch on in June 2024. Workshop participants will receive resources they can use in their work with young people, including scripts for mindfulness practices and tips tailored by age-group for understanding and engaging youth whose behavior is impacted by traumatic stress.

time iconJune 5, 2024 10:00 am

Putting your oxygen mask on First- Prioritizing Mental Health and wellness in your life to be a better leader.

speaker headshot Christi Venable
SMILE Therapy Services, LLC

Women tend to put everyone and everything in their lives first even in the workplace. This workshop will discuss the statistics of women mental health challenges specifically in the workplace, the importance of making mental health a priority in your life and how focusing on your own mental health improves your leadership abilities.

time iconJune 5, 2024 10:00 am

Turning Towards the Sun: Maternal Stories of Hope and Healing After Their Child’s Suicide

speaker headshot Julie Piepenbring
The College of St. Rose
speaker headshot Laura Albee
University of St. Joseph

Mothers mourning children lost to suicide underscore a need to walk out of their darkness and into a transformative light. A beacon that will repurpose their intent and galvanize their willingness to live for another tomorrow. Utilizing case studies participants will explore the maternal narratives of the survived to deepen their understanding about the factors that contribute to posttraumatic growth in the wake of child suicide. Compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma will be emphasized.

time iconJune 5, 2024 12:30 pm

Impact Sessions

time iconJune 5, 2024 12:30 pm

Empowering Diversion: Effective Strategies for Justice-Involved Individuals

speaker headshot Aaron Arnold
All Rise

Justice-involved individuals experience mental health and substance use disorders at much higher rates than the general population. In this session, experts from All Rise will discuss concrete strategies for identifying individuals with mental health and/or substance use disorders in the justice system, explore promising diversion models, and offer guidance for jurisdiction seeking to build new alternatives to incarceration.

time iconJune 5, 2024 12:30 pm

Fostering Well-Being through Social Support & Belonging: Leaning In to Systemic Solutions to Burnout & Workplace Stress

speaker headshot Jessie Harney
Colorado State University

This session would share results from a study that tested the impact of a peer-focused wellness intervention on employee well-being and attitudes, relative to an individual wellness intervention (i.e., those that tend to be common in status quo, organizational wellness programs.) Through a causal design, we find significant evidence of improved well-being and attitudes in the peer program versus the individual program in a high-stress occupation: correctional work.

time iconJune 5, 2024 12:30 pm

How Ted Lasso's Leadership Style Can Help You Build Psychological Safety

speaker headshot Jeff Harry
Rediscover Your Play

85% of employees are disengaged at work. Staff leave because they don't feel seen, heard, or appreciated.  Who knew the answer to this lies in a show called Ted Lasso? In this workshop, we will explore how play and positive psychology are essential to building psychological safety in this surreal new reality of work. We will analyze through the lens of Ted Lasso what currently needs to be added to your workplace that would create the culture your staff is looking for.

time iconJune 5, 2024 12:30 pm

VA + NAMI Partnership Promotes Hope through Education: A Panel Discussion

speaker headshot Marsden McGuire

speaker headshot Theresa Schmitz

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and NAMI began partnering in April 2022 to promote access to NAMI’s Homefront virtual family education curriculum. While still in its infancy, the VA/NAMI partnership has expanded engagement in Homefront across the Veteran family & caregiver populations. This panel will present the partnership development, share background on supportive legislation, summarize early implementation efforts and lessons, and highlight data from our first year of collaboration.

time iconJune 5, 2024 12:30 pm

Implementing Community-based Strategies to Address Behavioral Health Crises Through Law Enforcement-led Deflection

speaker headshot Ernest Stevens
Council of State Governments Justice Center
speaker headshot Philip Ross
TASC Center for Health and Justice
speaker headshot Sakinah Slayton
New Castle County Police Department
speaker headshot Chris Richardson
Denver Police

During this interactive panel, directors from two law enforcement-led deflection programs will discuss how implementing behavioral health crisis response efforts has helped them respond to the unique needs of their communities, and outline the lessons learned through the successes and challenges faced by their deflection initiatives. These panelists also represent programs that are part of BJA’s First Responder Deflection Mentorship and Law Enforcement-Mental Health Learning Site Initiatives.

time iconJune 5, 2024 12:30 pm

Mentally healthy workplaces begin with strong Purpose & Values – Learn to pressure-test your company's core principles.

speaker headshot Deborah Urbanik
D. Whitney Consulting
speaker headshot Grace Lee
Lumentum Holdings

For many of us, our jobs consume most of our time, energy, and effort each day. The experiences we share with our colleagues strengthen our mental health or diminish it. How can a company move beyond policies and programs to shape healthy human connection at work? It begins with strong Purpose and Values. Join Chief Human Resource Officer Grace Lee and Organizational Culture Consultant Deborah Urbanik to learn how to uncover if your company's core principles support a mentally healthy culture.

time iconJune 5, 2024 12:30 pm

Military and Veteran Caregiver Mental Wellness Framework

speaker headshot Rebecca Mullaney
Elizabeth Dole Foundation
speaker headshot Lisell Perez-Rogers
Elizabeth Dole Foundation

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation released the Caregiver Mental Wellness Framework, following more than two years of development with military and veteran caregivers, mental health professionals, and human-centered design experts. In this session, we’ll walk through the development of the Framework before taking an interactive dive into its content, where session participants will have an opportunity to engage in self-reflective content within each of the Framework’s six dimensions.

time iconJune 5, 2024 12:30 pm

Owning the Solutions: Including BIPOC Youth and Young Adult Voices

speaker headshot Jorge Alvarez
iJorgeAlvarez LLC

As a Gen Z Latine man advocating to normalize and encourage action around mental health for the last 6 years, I've experienced and heard the challenges youth and young adults (YYA) have AND continue to navigate. Applying these experiences, my session will explore how to go beyond including YYA and the importance of moving towards providing us with ownership of the solutions built for us but often without us. Doing my best to depict why lack of YYA presence has led to the crisis we face today.

time iconJune 5, 2024 12:30 pm

Peer Support Leadership Journeys and Strategies

speaker headshot Amy Brinkley
NAMI National Board Member, NASMHPD
speaker headshot Kimberly Comer
speaker headshot Ray Lay
SMI Enterprises LLC

In this presentation the audience will hear from a panel of 3 different national peer subject matter experts (2 are also NAMI National board members) who will provide a unique perspective on their personal mental health, substance use, and veteran peer lived experiences and the challenges they overcame to gain leadership status in the national peer recovery space. This session will explore the valuable insights of effective leadership strategies rooted in direct lived experience.

time iconJune 5, 2024 12:30 pm

Taking Next Gen Local: NAMI Affiliates and Young Peers, Professionals and Advocates

speaker headshot Michael Branche

speaker headshot Kaylea Dillon
speaker headshot Angela Lariviere
Nami Ohio
speaker headshot Janelle Freman
Nami Urban Greater Cincinnati/ YouthMove Ohio
speaker headshot Amber Payne

For the past 10 years, NAMI Ohio has worked to increase youth peer support, programs, and opportunities throughout Ohio. This presentation will include youth peers and adult supporters who are working at the state and local levels to strengthen NAMI's work with young people. Learn how our youth leadership team created a strategic plan, leveraged funding, advocated for Certified Youth Peer Support, and are increasing youth presence in our State and Local Affiliates.

time iconJune 5, 2024 12:30 pm

Taming the Beast—My Journey with Bipolar Disorder

speaker headshot Joseph DiGiovanni
NAMI St Louis

This session is about a balanced approach toward treating bipolar disorder. I’ll describe how I built up resiliency through caring for mental, physical, and spiritual health. The hope is that by sharing my story, I’ll provide others the missing elements of their care plan.

time iconJune 5, 2024 01:45 pm

Impact Sessions

time iconJune 5, 2024 01:45 pm

A Paradigm Shift: Expanding the Crisis Care Continuum into Pretrial Detention

speaker headshot Timothy Bray
Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute
speaker headshot Yolanda Lewis
Meadows Institute
speaker headshot Laura Slocum
Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute
speaker headshot Manuel Zamora

Many jurisdictions across the country have made efforts to divert people with significant mental health needs away from the criminal legal system and into community-based care, yet many people living with behavioral health disorders continue to experience arrest and the perils of pretrial detention. With increased risks of suicide and self-harm, expanding the crisis care continuum into the initial detention phase of incarceration offers a pathway to care and an opportunity for diversion.

time iconJune 5, 2024 01:45 pm

Building Intergenerational Partnerships: Engaging Youth in Leadership & Advocacy for Mental Health

speaker headshot Darcy Gruttadaro
NAMI National
speaker headshot Pooja Mehta
speaker headshot Amanda Lipp
University of California, Davis

Intergenerational partnership and diverse leadership is essential for sustained organizational growth. Engaging youth and young adults in leadership roles is necessary for both growing the Alliance and building the mental health care system of tomorrow. The presenters, young professionals and the youngest NAMI National board members to serve in the organization’s history, share challenges and lessons on how to include and support diverse youth leadership and advocacy.

time iconJune 5, 2024 01:45 pm

Competency Restoration: Innovations in Indiana

speaker headshot Katrina Norris
Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction
speaker headshot Jennifer Braun
DMHA/FSSA State of Indiana
speaker headshot Jay Chaudhary
Indiana Family and Social Services Administration

The volume of competency orders increased by an alarming rate in Indiana over the past five years. With hundreds of individuals lingering in county jails awaiting competency restoration services, our strategies had to be revisited. This session will describe the innovative pathways, data driven decision making, impressive outcomes and unique collaborations designed to meet the demand for competency evaluation and restoration services in our state.

time iconJune 5, 2024 01:45 pm

How Do We Encourage Men to Seek Support for Their Mental Health?

speaker headshot David Hogan
Rare Disease Male Mental Health Support Group

It’s about how we encourage men to seek support for their mental health – by exploring my own story of having a rare disease, my mental health challenges and the creation of my Rare Disease Mental Health Support group. It’s a space for men from different countries and cultures to come together, and despite our differences, we all have that shared powerful connection between us. I facilitate societal challenges men face today as well as unpacking ways we can as a collective make a change for all

time iconJune 5, 2024 01:45 pm

Mental Health at Yale University: How Two Students and Alumni Settled a Landmark Class-Action Lawsuit

speaker headshot Lucy Kim
Yale University
speaker headshot Alicia Abramson
Yale University
speaker headshot Lily Colby
With Lived Experienxe
speaker headshot Paul Johansen
Elis for Rachael

In late March, 2021, Yale College was shaken by the on-campus death by suicide of Rachael Shaw-Rosenbaum. A small group of alumni quickly assembled to encourage administrators to modernize their arcane mental health policies. With the help of two courageous students, and an experienced legal team, we filed a class-action lawsuit on November 30, 2022 alleging that Yale discriminated against students with mental health conditions, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, among other

time iconJune 5, 2024 01:45 pm

Partnering for Success: Girl Scouts USA Mental Wellness Patch Program

speaker headshot Jennifer Rothman
speaker headshot Caitlyn Branine
Girl Scouts of Colorado
speaker headshot Michelle Pierce
Girl Scouts

In 2021, NAMI and Girl Scouts USA decided to come together to create a patch program for girls grades 4-12 to address mental health and wellness. In July 2023, the patch program was announced and released at the 2023 Girl Scouts Convention. Hear about the development of the patch program and how it's been used in a Denver Girl Scouts Troop. You'll also hear from a Girl Scout Gold Award Recipient who created a space for young people to share their struggles and see that they're not alone.

time iconJune 5, 2024 01:45 pm

Peer Support Specialists Credentialing Standards: Update on SAMHSA’s Model Standards

speaker headshot Amy Brinkley
NAMI National Board Member, NASMHPD
speaker headshot Diane Banks
Monarch Mental Wellness

This workshop will offer an overview of SAMHSA’s Model Standards for Peer Support Credentialing along with an update of feedback received since the standards were launched summer of 2023. Co-presenters will then share the findings of NAMI’s organization wide survey of Certified Peer Specialists who were asked to share their feedback on each of the 11 standards and suggestions for improvement, as well as their thoughts on what NAMI National’s role should be in the Peer Credentialing space

time iconJune 5, 2024 01:45 pm

From Stigma to Support: Normalizing the Conversation Surrounding Youth Seeking Help

speaker headshot Michelle Mullen
The Jed Foundation

We seek to share JED’s research results to shift the conversation about stigma and help-seeking among teens. Attendees will hear teens’ perspectives around emotional well-being, challenges to reaching out for support, and where they are most likely to seek help. This session will challenge commonly held perceptions of stigma and evaluate structural and systemic barriers to help-seeking as well as propose effective solutions for initiating difficult, intergenerational conversations.

time iconJune 5, 2024 01:45 pm

Resilience in Adversity: Innovating Support Groups in the Wake of Natural Disasters

speaker headshot Amber Drake
speaker headshot Kathy Hammes
NAMI Hawaii/NAMI BIg Island Affiliate
speaker headshot Anisa Wiseman
NAMI Hawaii

Uncover Maui's post-fire NAMI support group evolution, uniting community resilience. Navigate unique strategies for mental health post-disaster, with insights into innovation, challenges, and community empowerment. Explore collaborative initiatives, including a partnership with HECO, spotlighting the impact of corporate-community collaboration in crisis recovery.

time iconJune 5, 2024 01:45 pm

The Power of Relationships: The Wisconsin Experience of Improving Access to Care Through Local and State Mental Health Coalitions

speaker headshot Michelle Broaddus
Medical College of Wisconsin

Coalitions have the power to span gaps, scale up excellent practice and amplify diverse voices. Learn from the Advancing Behavioral Health Initiative, an 8-year collaboration between 10 local coalitions and the Medical College of Wisconsin. Learn how a state coalition, the Mental Health Action Partnership leverages local coalition experience to gather diverse stakeholders in a learning community, achieve consensus on policy goals, and promote ongoing system improvement. Explore NAMI’s role.

time iconJune 5, 2024 03:00 pm

Courageous Conversations: Navigating Mental Health and Advocacy with Congressman Kennedy and Daniel H. Gillison Jr., NAMI National CEO

Join us for a Fireside Chat featuring Congressman Kennedy, renowned mental health advocate and author, in dialogue with Dan Gillison. In this candid conversation, Congressman Kennedy will share his personal journey through mental health challenges, drawing from his own experiences documented in his insightful books. From navigating the highs and lows of public life to confronting stigma and advocating for policy change, Congressman Kennedy has been at the forefront of the mental health movement. Together with Dan, they will explore the evolving landscape of mental health advocacy, highlighting the critical role of storytelling, policy advocacy, and community support in driving change.

time iconJune 5, 2024 06:30 pm

Closing Party

It’s a party—and you’re invited! You don’t want to miss this fabulous night of good food, drinks, live music, games and most of all... lots of fun. Make lasting memories with old and new friends alike!

time iconJune 6, 2024 07:15 am

Faith Services

time iconJune 6, 2024 09:00 am

Morning Plenary

Details Coming Soon!

Download Agenda

Frequently Asked Questions

All convention sessions and activities will take place onsite at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, June 4-6, 2024. There will not be a virtual component this year. If you are an employee or volunteer of a NAMI State Organization or NAMI Affiliate, plan to join us a day early for NAMI Alliance Day on June 3!
The focus for NAMICon 2024 will be on elevating the in-person experience, so there will not be a virtual component. There will still be opportunities to participate in other virtual offerings in 2024.
The Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel is the convention headquarters hotel. Rooms at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel are offered at a special rate of $249 (plus state and local tax) for registered attendees. Book your room here!
The Annual Business Meeting is an amazing opportunity to highlight, recognize, and honor the dedication and leadership of NAMI "Superstars". The NAMI Board of Directors will be introduced, the 2024 Board of Directors election results will be announced, and the President and Treasurer's annual reports will be reviewed.
We encourage both members and non-members to attend our convention. NAMI is the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots advocacy group working on behalf of individuals with lived experience and caregivers. Whether or not you are a member of NAMI, you will benefit from the information offered during the event, as well as the chance to network with some of the most knowledgeable mental health advocates in the nation.
There are currently 2 scholarship opportunities:

The Alliance Relations NAMICon Scholarship is a program offered by NAMI National to address financial barriers that have prevented some NAMI State Organizations (NSOs) and NAMI Affiliates (NAs) volunteers and staff from attending NAMI's annual convention. The funds came from the generosity of an anonymous donor who wants to ensure that diverse communities from across the NAMI Alliance are represented at this year's event.

Information about Youth Scholarships will be updated soon. Check back here for more information to be shared.
Yes, mobility equipment is available to rent on a first-come-first serve basis.
Review the program schedule and plan your schedule so that you can attend the sessions most important to you. Be sure to schedule breaks and other rest periods for yourself. The Convention Orientation session is a valuable resource for those attending our convention for the first time. The full convention program will be released at the convention, but you can receive regular program updates by visiting the Program Schedule page. 
NAMI is working with Amedco to provide Continuing Education for various professions. Continuing Education credits for nurses, social workers and psychologists will be available for NAMICon 2024. Approved credit hours will be posted 30 days prior to our event. Participants are responsible for verifying with their own respective state board/agencies that the CEs that are offered at the convention through accreditation are accepted in their home states. Please click HERE for more details.
All cancellations must be made in writing to [email protected]. Please refer to our cancellation policy for more information.
Exhibitor registration is now open! Please click HERE for more information on exhibit opportunities. For sponsorships, please contact us at [email protected].

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization. We are dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

Contact Us

National Alliance on Mental Illness
4301 Wilson Blvd #300
Arlington, VA 22203

[email protected]

©2024 National Alliance onn Mental Illness (NAMI). All rights reserved.