NAMI Launches “I Will Listen” Campaign


The New York Times reports that New York Metro chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) has launched ““, a campaign encouraging listening to people with a mental illness diagnosis “nonjudgmentally and with understanding.”  Adds a creative director of the project, “It’s counterintuitive to ask people to raise their hands and say, ‘I’m not going to follow the conventional thought about mental illness, and I’m going to be open to the people who need support.’ ”

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. Thanks but no thanks.

    I don’t think I’m having any of this, especially if NAMI is supporting it. And any time I see that “celebrities” are involved I shy away even more so since none of them really tell it like it really is. All they want is more of the wonderful “treatment” for all of us poor people suffering from “mental illness” and we need to be helped to recieve all of this wonderful “treatment” since we don’t know we’re ill. So, it’s all “for our very own good” and we should be thankful to all of them for doing this.

    Read the very last paragraph of this little article and tell me that it’s not scary as hell! The guy wants everyone to have a mental health screening, from little kids to adults! Thanks but no thanks!

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  2. I will listen, and then I will tell/report that you need “treatment”. We will screen children so that 1 in 4 can be “treated”. All that is offered is a pill altering brain chemistry. The “chemical imbalance” theory has been debunked by scientists (Coyle, Harvard & Insel, NIMH), called antiquated and last century. “Treatment” means forcing and foisting dangerous mind and body altering drugs on vulnerable people who have no other choice. Why does this continue? Why does NAMI support casting the net wider to ensnare troubled minds for, let’s face it, coercive “treatment” at best and torture at worst? Why does the NYT article have no space for comments? Those who continue to propagate a disproven theory are ideologues. The campaign is not about properly caring for those who get labeled “mentally ill”. It is about broadening the consumer market. Shame on NAMI if they go along unwittingly because they choose not to be informed. Treacherous that they give psychiatric demagoguery a friendly face, and let its careless practices persist under a cloak of compassion.

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    • “I will listen, and then I will tell/report that you need “treatment”.”

      Thanks, doc. So now I can rest easy knowing that you know (not you specifically, Cheryl – this is a general thing for the audience at large) that I have a personal need to be treated. Correctly. OH!

      How to treat a human being:

      Like they’re an idiot
      Like they’re a sub-human
      Like they’re incompetent
      Like a piece of junk / trash / garbage
      Like a subordinate
      Like an empty sack
      Like an object
      Like a thing
      Like a machine
      Like a puppet
      Like a robot
      Like a child

      Today is opposite day. I ask OTHER human beings for guidance and suggestions on how to TREAT somebody (since I gave the list on how NOT to treat somebody). Thanks for all your help!

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  3. Quote from the article: “But it’s counterintuitive to ask people to raise their hands and say, ‘I’m not going to follow the conventional thought about mental illness, and I’m going to be open to the people who need support.’ ”

    How did it become the conventional thought NOT to listen? NAMI has been central in helping the psychiatric profession convince everyone that it’s all a brain chemistry problem and that listening doesn’t matter. Kind of ironic for them to start on this kind of campaign. Perhaps they should apologize for misleading people earlier. Might make their campaign a little more believable.

    —- Steve

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  4. Um, why not strive for THE GOAL

    which is “I Will Understand”.

    And even Michael speaks of his brother Tom (who killed himself) as NOT UNDERSTANDING what his brother was talking about (“didn’t make sense” to Michael). Any possibility that Tom knew what Michael didn’t and that Michael couldn’t understand simply because he didn’t have the knowledge / information (or interests and concerns and focuses) that Tom did? Maybe, maybe Michael was just DISINTERESTED in what really mattered to TOM.

    And maybe Tom couldn’t find the right sort of people to speak with. To speak WITH.

    Listen for all Eternity. The point is TO UNDERSTAND. To comprehend. To “get it”. To harmonize.

    We are NOT all at the same level. We are NOT all in the same dimension. We do not all share the same interests or priorities or concerns. We do not all have the same knowledge base. We are NOT all conformists (similar in belief, perspectives, etc.).

    I hope there’s some oversight for this new project coming out of New York. Lord knows, even New York needs guidance and direction.

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  5. I agree with those who express skepticism about this initiative. Continuing with my analogy to slavery, this is like having slave masters launching a “listen to the slave” type of campaign :D.

    NAMI continues to advocate for the easing of civil commitment / forced drugging rules to “prevent danger”. They cannot have it both ways. If they truly believe what they are saying in this initiative they should stop all their lobbying initiatives that seek to make it easier to abuse us and join us in order to make coercive psychiatry history.

    NAMI has contributed to the stigma surrounding DSM labels more than any other organization outside the APA.

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  6. The pharmaceutical industry launches “I Will Listen” Campaign.

    Pharma pay’s the bills and Pharma calls the shots.

    Screening kids with there loaded checklists and drugging them will make pharma billions so the sneak that idea into the press release.

    NAMI claims to be all “grassroots” but sais nothing about things like the drugging of foster children. Not a word.

    20/20: Generation Meds (Foster Children Being Over Medicated)


    Launches “NAMI is a pharma store front” truth campaign !

    Copy it , and paste it everywhere !

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  7. In the article it states “I want to start seeing screening for mental health just as a matter of course when kids go to pediatricians and adults go to primary care doctors,” Ms. Brennan said. “The time has come and we as a country are ready to address mental illness.”
    I want to see the opposite. Our country has done a horrible job of supporting individuality in schools, life, communities, etc. If pediatricians start labeling children and providing them with the only option we have in this country, medication, it will get worse. As a country we cannot define mental illness so how can we address it?
    When are we going to address the issue of how we treat each other in all areas of life? When we are driving, getting our morning coffee, saying hello to the person no one talk to, being kind even when the other person is not. Small acts of kindness are not enough. More and more people watching other people and judging how they feel, act, talk, etc. is not the solution.
    This seems like another campaign to get people to watch out for people that don’t fit into their idea of normal. It’s just another way for the pharmaceutical companies to find new customers.
    No thank you!!

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    • Routine psych screenings is how to teach our kids to lie:

      Psychiatrist: Do you ever have thoughts of ending your life?
      Smart Kid: No, sir, never. I don’t ever think about death, not even the afterlife.
      Psychiatrist: Do you ever want to hurt anyone?
      Smart Kid: No, sir, never. Since nobody is ever mean to me, I never think of hurting anyone.
      Psychiatrist: Do you ever get sad for days on end?
      Smart Kid: Sad? I cried when I broke my arm, but only for as long as it hurt. I don’t get sad for extended periods.
      Psychiatrist: Do you ever get really, really happy?
      Smart Kid: No never. I do cheer when my favorite football team wins, but I don’t get any happier than any other fan.

      Next thing we know, the conformity won’t even work, because we will all be diagnosed with flat affect.

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      • You got it! There’s no way to escape this trap that the drug companies and psychiatry has set for us. No matter what you do, it will end up not being right. You will be damned if you do and damned if you don’t! And the net spreads wider and wider………….

        The thing that really bothers me is that the American public falls for this kind of stuff, hook, line, and sinker. And it will only get worse as things like what happened yesterday in Washington, D.C. get publicized and sensationlaized. The first thing stated about the young mother who was shot yesterday afternoon near the Capitol was that she was suffering from mental illness.

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        • I have a parallel for that story but it is much too “mental” and “psychological” for people to understand. Plus, even if I explained it meticulously – people remain ignorant (and abusive) in the face of the truth.

          Wow, see that swarm?

          Fact is, people LOVE (and live for) the drama. It is no fun to be a fire fighter if there are never any fires (being a fire fighter depends on the instance of fires) – just like a psychiatrist cannot get paid without prescribing and thereby is dependent on “sick” people to prescribe to.

          This sick, crazy world is guaranteed to make people sick and crazy (and to keep police officers being police officers, fire fighters being fire fighters and psychiatrists being psychiatrists).

          There cannot ever be peace on this planet because people DO NOT KNOW HOW. A peaceful humanity won’t have screaming sirens all day and night long, all across the globe. Never gonna happen.

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        • Hi Stephen,

          That reminds me when I went for neuropsych testing several years ago for various reasons and not knowing any better, took the MAPI test fo anxiety and depression. Because I allegedly didn’t answer the question in the expected way, I was deemed as being defensive. I was so angry.

          And the fun with the sensationalistic headlines is beginning with the young mother. Of course, they all emphasize her mental illness and not her fall that caused her to hit her head before she became pregnant. I guess that doesn’t increase ratings. And yes I am being sarcastic.

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  8. This is the same old drug company promotion. As we all know, the overwhelming majority of NAMI’s funding comes from the drug companies. And even if the New York Times allowed comments, it wouldn’t mean much.

    But it occurs to me that NAMI would be a very good target for demonstrations, marches, and sit-ins by our movement. A successful demo of this type would really raise questions in the public mind. “I thought NAMI advocated for crazy people. How come they are demonstrating against it”?

    Think about it.

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    • “I thought NAMI advocated for crazy people. How come they are demonstrating against it”?

      That’s awesome !

      As a start all these online mental health support forums are a good place to get the truth about NAMI out to as many of us crazy people as possible, that’s how I learned.

      Many of them won’t allow “anti psychiatry” the easy way around that is just to ask questions like yours, get the conversation started.

      Is NAMI a pharma front group ?

      Why is NAMI opposed to human rights in psychiatry ?

      My posts all together have had 1000s of views.Any one can get started.

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  9. Mental health screening for kids, what does that mean ?

    The youngster is sat down and asked introverting questions such as:

    Has there been a time when nothing was fun for you and you just weren’t interested in anything?
    Has there been a time when you felt you couldn’t do anything well or that you weren’t as good-looking or as smart as other people?
    How often did your parents get annoyed or upset with you because of the way you were feeling or acting?
    Have you often felt very nervous when you’ve had to do things in front of people?
    Have you often worried a lot before you were going to play a sport or game or do some other activity?
    Have you tried to kill yourself in the last year?
    Are you still thinking of killing yourself?
    Have you thought seriously about killing yourself?
    Have you often thought about killing yourself??
    Have you ever tried to kill yourself?

    AND 100 MORE AT LEAST !!!!

    Based on the answers the child gives to the above questions he is then shuffled off to a “clinician”, who ponders the bogus label to use.

    The “clinician” summarizes his report and comes up with an “impairment score”.

    Based on how the child answered the “suicide survey”, and which label the clinician conjured up and how the child did on his “impairment score” the child is then sent off for “treatment”.

    What treatment?
    Drugs. A survey of recently trained child psychiatrists found the treatment for 9 out of 10 children consisted of drugging. (Journal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry 2002)

    post made with info and copy paste from this website


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