Mental Health Chat

Mental Health Chat is a program developed by NAMI Fox Valley and is a mental health awareness presentation given to elementary age students.  NAMI Wisconsin has been given permission to expand the program state wide.  The target population is 4th graders (3rd – 5th) and the presentation is given by someone living with a mental illness or someone who is a family member of someone with a mental illness.  The presentation is about 40 – 45 minutes with a curriculum follow-up for teachers provided.

The presentation is given in a fun and caring way with the goals:

  • Educate elementary students about mental illness and NAMI
  • Help elementary students understand that getting medical help for a mental illness is good and similar to getting medical help for a broken arm or the flu
  • Educate elementary students that one in five people live with a mental illness
  • Provide positive coping skills for dealing with strong emotions.
  • Teach students how to help themselves or a friend identify an adult they can talk to if feeling sad/depressed/anxious

The presentation includes:

  1. A description of mental illness and why it’s sometimes hard to understand, and tell them about NAMI
  2. Reading of a book about feelings/mood
  3. A whiteboard presentation on mental illness, getting help, one in five using stick figure drawings
  4. A relaxation exercise using Go Noodle
  5. Follow-up curriculum for teacher to do an activity about feelings, coping skills and make a list of who they can talk to in the school or home about their feelings.

For more information on how to bring this to your elementary school contact or local affiliate or NAMI Wisconsin (608) 268-6000
nami@namiwisconsin.org