NAMI has long-advocated for the importance of telling our stories in our fight against mental health stigma and as a way to foster hope. Indeed, some of our most effective programs are presentations that revolve directly around storytelling.

A nonprofit in Chicago has developed a unique and powerful way to use storytelling. Erasing the Distance uses storytelling to facilitate community conversations on mental health and substance use. After interviewing a person who talks about their experiences with mental illness, the interview is transcribed into a skit performed by professional actors. Afterwards, a discussion ensues with the audience on what they just experienced.

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