Giving Tuesday: Turn Your Story Into Hope

by NAMI Washtenaw County

We believe that everyone's story has the power to save a life. That's why NAMI works to support people with a mental health condition and their loved ones through shared experiences from peer to peer. 

How can sharing a story help? 

Peer-to-peer storytellers can increase a sense of hope and inspiration, increase empathy and acceptance and increase engagement in self-care and wellness.*

How does NAMI use stories to help people? 

Through our educational programs, support groups and community advocacy NAMI leaders use their lived experiences and evidenced-based programming to reach out to those living with a mental health condition and their loved ones. Sharing both knowledge and stories brings program participants into a life-changing community where they no longer feel afraid or alone in their mental health journey. 

For more information on our individual programs please visit

Curious about our impact? Just read some of the feedback we get from our program participants:

"They were fantastic, especially because they too had their own stories to share!" - Family-to-Family Participant

"I can look at my daughter differently now. I understand her better." - Family-to-Family Participant

"Sharing our story was hard but it was interesting to see how people persevered." - Peer-to-Peer Participant

"Learning to set smart goals allowed me to take the goals I had and create an action plan to implement them." - Peer-to-Peer Participant

"I learned that anyone could seem completely fine on the outside but not be fine on the inside...this could help people know they are not alone." - Ending the Silence Participant

"I generally enjoyed hearing the stories of people who have similar issues that I've seen myself and other experience as well. The three people that told their stories are really frikin' cool and inspirational." - Ending the Silence Participant

Why are programs like this important in Washtenaw County?

  • The proportion of Washtenaw County adults who experienced ten or more days of poor mental health in the past month increased by nearly 50% between 2005 and 2010.**
  • In Washtenaw County, 16% of adults have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders and 22% have been diagnosed with depression.**
  • 32% of students felt so sad or hopeless almost every day for 2 weeks or more in a row that they stopped doing some usual activities during the past 12 months***
  • 18% of Washtenaw County high school students seriously considered attempting suicide in 2018, with 7% attempting suicide***


** Washtenaw Health Department

*** St. Joseph Mercy Youth Mental Health Needs Assessment 

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