1 in 5 people live with a mental health condition. Chances are you know someone who does. They are our friends, family members, colleagues, neighbors, and classmates. For many, the stigma associated with mental illness keeps them from speaking up and getting the support they need for recovery.
How can you help? Start by listening.
Listening can be one of the most powerful ways to support someone facing mental health challenges. I Will Listen encourages open and honest conversations about mental health. The campaign brings together college campuses, workplaces, and other communities to start conversations, learn more about mental illness, and to understand what stigma is and how to overcome it.
The I Will Listen campaign was founded by NAMI New York City in 2013 with a mission to tear down the stigma and misconceptions associated with mental health conditions. NAMI New York City shared resources with communities to start their own I Will Listen campaigns.
In 2016, NAMI Metro Baltimore activated I Will Listen in Baltimore, and developed a week-long campaign engaging college students, faculty, and staff. Since then, the I Will Listen campaign has grown from 3 to 16 campus partners in the Metropolitan Baltimore region. In 2021, NAMI Metro Baltimore will implement its 8th annual I Will Listen campaign during Mental Illness Awareness Week, October 1-7, 2023.
NAMI Metro Baltimore has also created resources to bring the message of the I Will Listen campaign into the workplace. We partner with companies of all sizes to engage employees in taking action to build a stigma-free work culture.
Year after year, we have seen the I Will Listen campaign engage communities in powerful discussions about mental health and wellness.