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NAMI Iowa Collaborates with Amerigroup Foundation on “Ending the Silence”

NAMI Iowa (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and the Amerigroup Foundation are joining forces to provide educational resources and tools for people of all ages across the state that may be suffering from mental illness by making a program called Ending the Silence (ETS) available free of charge.

ETS is a 50-minute, evidence-based program that changes lives by raising awareness, addressing stigma and offering information and resources for receiving help.

“Now more than ever, we must all be mindful of our mental health and its impact on our overall well-being,” said Jeffrey Jones, Amerigroup Iowa Plan President.

“Iowans should not be reluctant to seek mental health help when they need it and that’s why the Amerigroup Foundation has partnered with NAMI Iowa to increase our focus on the whole health of individuals. ETS presentations focus on warning signs of mental health conditions and what steps to take. By offering these resources to our members and communities free of charge, we can positively impact so many across Iowa and ensure we are doing all that we can to support those around us.”

“The pandemic has been a crisis not only in physical health, but mental health,” said Peggy Huppert, NAMI Iowa Executive Director. “While the world has suffered as a whole, young people have been especially vulnerable during these unprecedented times. We’re so thankful that Amerigroup is committed to addressing this critical healthcare need through a unique partnership with NAMI Iowa.”

Originally designed for middle and high school students, ETS is now also available for educators and parents. Each presentation is given by two trained volunteers with a personal connection to mental health and is offered free of charge by NAMI Iowa, thanks in part to a generous grant from the Amerigroup Foundation.

“Open conversations about mental illness and getting out the message that you are not alone helps so many,” said Lisa King, ETS Facilitator. “The engagement and connections I make as a facilitator have made me feel proud to represent such a great organization.”

From June 2020 through June 2021, NAMI Iowa gave over 80 presentations and reached over 3,500 people. With support from Amerigroup Foundation, NAMI staff and volunteers are excited to continue growing these numbers to bring mental health resources to even more communities around Iowa. Those schools or businesses interested in scheduling an ETS presentation or just learning more should contact Brittany Freeman, NAMI Iowa Program Coordinator, at brittany@namiiowa.org.

Amerigroup’s parent company recently released the inaugural State of the Nation’s Mental Health report which show the pandemic disconnect between feeling stressed and depressed and being diagnosed and seeking treatment underscoring the unmet mental health needs of millions of Americans during the pandemic.

 

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