NAMIWalks Your Way is Going Live on October 10th, 2020! 

Join us on Social Media and follow along on our live streams starting at 9 am.

We will be sharing photos and videos we have already received from several of our community members. Some of our supporters speak other languages and have provided messages about mental health awareness in Spanish, Hindi, Tamil, and French, so far. People are walking, dancing, and doing yoga, among other things, in support of mental health! We will be sharing all the videos and pictures on our brand-new YouTube channel after the walk. Please check it out and subscribe!

Be sure to share your activity on your favorite social media platform with the link to your walk fundraising page and include the hashtags #NotAlone, #NamiChsArea, and #MentalHealthForAll. We will have volunteers monitoring Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to see what everyone is doing and will share on our social media sites.

You can still start or join a team HERE
(or you can copy the link below and paste in your browser).

Questions or want to become a sponsor?
Contact Kelly Troyer, NAMI Walk Manager 
Phone: (843) 467-5224
Mail: NAMI Charleston Area (SC), P.O. Box 2251
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29465


“9-8-8” Bill Passes Congress!

On Monday, Sept. 21, NAMI celebrated the passage of S. 2661: the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020. The bill establishes the plan to implement a universal three-digit number, 9-8-8, for mental health crises and suicide prevention. This number has the potential to save lives when every second counts.
The bill will now head to the President to be signed into law. The Federal Communications Commission has stated that this it will become operational by July 2022. To help communities prepare, S. 2661 also permits states to impose fees that will allow for timely and well-trained crisis response.


Congress Passes New Bill To Improve Veterans’ Mental Health Care

On Wednesday, September 23, 2020, NAMI celebrated the U.S. House of Representatives’ unanimous passage of a landmark bipartisan bill, S. 785, The Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act. The bill previously passed the Senate and will now go to President Trump for his signature.
This bill is named in honor of NAMI Montana member and retired Navy SEAL Commander John Scott Hannon, who served for 23 years and fought a courageous battle with post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and bipolar disorder.


Volunteer Spotlight

Colleen Vaughn (NAMI Charleston Area Board Member and Advocacy Chair)

Why do you volunteer your time for NAMI Charleston Area and why should people volunteer with us?
I volunteer with NAMI Charleston Area as the Advocacy Chair. I originally began as a volunteer because I needed hours for one of my university classes. Once involved, I loved what NAMI stood for. I volunteer with NAMI Charleston Area because It’s important to talk about mental health and to advocate for the mental health of others. With 1 in 5 facing a mental health challenge in a given year, it’s important to know that resources like NAMI exist. I volunteer to be a voice for others and to offer education on mental health. Other people should volunteer with NAMI Charleston Area if they want to help make the world a better place. Without our volunteers NAMI would not be what it is today. Our volunteers are the reason why we have been so successful in being able to advocate, educate, and provide resources to our community members. 

How long have you been a volunteer?
This is my 3rd year as a volunteer. I have been a volunteer with NAMI since 2017. I started off volunteering with NAMI Lowcountry and NAMI Piedmont Tri-county through university and when I graduated, I began volunteering with NAMI Charleston Area in 2019.

What NAMI program do you feel is the most valuable? 
All of NAMI’s programs are valuable. However, the most valuable program is either our Ending the Silence Program or Crisis Intervention Training. Ending the Silence is valuable because it reaches our youth, parents and teachers. It gives students tools to help themselves or a friend and it creates a team behind every student to help them succeed when facing hardships. Crisis Intervention training is valuable because it gives our law enforcement practical and useful tools that save lives in times of crisis.

Fun fact: What is something a lot of people don’t know about you?
A lot of people don’t know that I enjoy maintenance projects. I enjoy identifying problem and figuring out how to fix it.

NAMI Scientific Research Award 2020

NAMI’s 2020 honoree for the NAMI Scientific Research Award is David C. Henderson, M.D., Psychiatrist-in-Chief at Boston Medical Center and Professor and Chair of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine. His research interests include treatment-resistant schizophrenia.

For the past 25 years, he has worked internationally conducting research and training programs. In the U.S., he has led more than 30 randomized clinical trials. NAMI will honor Dr. Henderson’s work at the Inspiring Hope Through Research event.

Please follow this link to register. The event is open for anyone to attend, so please forward this invitation to friends, family or colleagues who may be interested.

NAMI Charleston Area Reads On Our Bookshelf This Month:

insane consequences by DJ Jaffe

This well-researched and highly critical examination of the state of our mental health system by the industry’s most relentless critic presents a new and controversial explanation as to why–in spite of spending $147 billion annually–140,000 seriously mentally ill are homeless, 390,000 are incarcerated, and even educated, tenacious, and caring people can’t get treatment for their mentally ill loved ones.

DJ Jaffe blames the mental health industry and the government for shunning the 10 million adults who are the most seriously mentally ill–mainly those who suffer from schizophrenia and severe bipolar disorder–and, instead, working to improve “mental wellness” in 43 million others, many of whom are barely symptomatic.

Insane Consequences proposes smart, compassionate, affordable, and sweeping reforms designed to send the most seriously ill to the head of the line for services rather than to jails, shelters, prisons, and morgues. This book is a must-read for anyone who works in the mental health industry or cares about the mentally ill, violence, homelessness, incarceration, or public policy. 

Free NAMI Family to Family Classes Online

If you haven’t taken the NAMI Family to Family class, now is your chance! NAMI Pee Dee and NAMI Lowcountry have online classes starting this month (September 19th and September 20th). Pre-registration is required to attend the class. See how to register below.

NAMI Family to Family program is a free 8-week educational class for adult family members, significant others, and friends of adults 22 and over living with mental health conditions.

It is a designated evidenced-based program. Research shows that the program significantly improves the coping and problem-solving abilities of the people closest to an individual living with a mental health condition.

NAMI Family-to-Family is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have been there; the program includes presentations, discussion, and interactive exercises.

NAMI Lowcountry will have their class online on Saturdays starting September 19th from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm. Register now by clicking this LINK

NAMI Pee Dee’s class will be online on Sundays beginning September 20th. Email Lou Hanna at or Carol Hill at to register for this class. 

Free Resilience Screening and Ending the Silence Webinars

NAMI SC is presenting several free ETS webinars and Resilience screenings in September and October for parents and caregivers of youth. They are also providing free ETS webinars for parents of college students and college students. 

Resilience is a new documentary that delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and a new movement to treat and prevent toxic stress.

You’ll learn how toxic stress can trigger hormones that wreak havoc on the brains and bodies of children, putting them at a greater risk for disease, homelessness, prison time, and early death. 

NAMI’s Ending the Silence (ETS) is a 60- minute presentation that helps raise awareness around mental health conditions. The presentation includes:

  • Warning signs 
  • Facts and statistics of mental health conditions
  • Suicide awareness and prevention 
  • How to approach your student

To see the schedule and to register, please click HERE.

To schedule a presentation contact Paige Selking at

NAMIWalks Your Way Charleston 2020 Rally!

If you missed the live NAMIWalks Your Way Charleston Rally on August 29th, you can still catch it! The video can be found on our brand-new NAMI Charleston Area (SC) YouTube channel HERE or on our website. You can watch as Kelly Troyer, NAMIWalks Charleston Walk Manager, presents information on our 2nd annual NAMIWalks fundraiser. She explains what it means to have a virtual walk, where to go to create or join a walk team (HERE), how to promote on social media, and why we walk. Please visit and subscribe, because we will be adding more walk-related videos. Kelly’s video with Louie and Apollo asking if they were excited about the walk was so funny and cute. It may inspire you to create a video with your pet/s!

We enjoyed meeting new people and catching up with familiar ones. We gave out prizes to winners: Melanie and Shawn. We hope you had a fun time and that you enjoy the prizes. We talked about the importance of mental health awareness and reducing the stigma related to mental health. We also shared stories about positive experiences during this time of social distancing. Our guest speaker, Colleen Vaughn, talked about mental health and the importance of taking care of your own mental health during stressful times. Kelly shared a video from SC Representative James Clyburn and the previously mentioned video from Louie and Apollo. 

We are asking everyone to send us videos or pictures (with the Signs of Hope) to post on our social media leading up to the walk and on the day of the walk. If you have any questions, please email or call or text (843) 467-5224 .

NAMIWalks Your Way Charleston 2020

 Log on with us on October 10, 2020!

Here’s What to Do: 

Join us on Social Media and follow along on our live streams starting at 9 am. 

Participants are encouraged to make NAMIWalks your own by walking the 5K through your neighborhood, showing off the yoga skills you’ve been practicing, or whatever else makes you feel your best!

Be sure to share your activity on your favorite social media platform with the link to your walk fundraising page and include the hashtags #NotAlone and #MentalHealthForAll.

Together we can promote mental health awareness, strengthen our community, and let each other know that you are #NotAlone.

Start your team or join a team HERE.

Check out this short video to see what NAMIWalks is all about!

Questions or want to become a sponsor?
Contact Kelly Troyer, NAMI Walk Manager 
Phone: (843) 467-5224
Mail: NAMI Charleston Area (SC), P.O. Box 2251
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29465