National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Mental Illness Awareness Week 2009
Building Community, Taking Action
October 4 - 10, 2009

What is MIAW?

In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first week of October as "Mental Illness Awareness Week" (MIAW) in recognition of NAMI's efforts to raise mental illness awareness. Since 1990, mental health advocates across the country have joined together during the first week of October to celebrate.

MIAW is NAMI's premiere public awareness and public education campaign and link NAMI's 1,100+ local affiliates across the country.

MIAW has become a tradition in NAMI. It presents an opportunity for all three levels of NAMI — national, state and local — to work together in communities across the country to achieve the NAMI mission through outreach, education and advocacy.

Building Community, Taking Action

Real recovery from mental illness requires community action, understanding and teamwork. Recovery is possible because of improved science, better community supports and reduced stigma. But significant barriers still exist. Services are at risk, insurance can be insufficient and stigma, though less today than when MIAW was founded, is still prevalent.

Information and Resources

NAMI National offers technical assistance to all state and affiliate organizations planning activities during Mental Illness Awareness Week.

  • By phone: For information on teleconferencing with the NAMI Leadership Institute, look for topic and call-in information in the Friday Facts e-mail, or contact your NAMI Leadership Consultant. For contact information, e-mail or call the NAMI HelpLine at 1 (800) 950–NAMI (6264).
  • In person: At the NAMI National Convention, attend MIAW workshops and NAMILand in the exhibit hall. For convention registration information go to:
  • Digital Downloads: Downloads of different items you can use are available below. They include NAMI resources supporting such activities as outreach to multicultural communities, to families of children and adolescents, and to faith communities.
  • Downloads

    The following are information resources and publicity tools for promoting MIAW in your area. They include a logo, sticker and poster (both English and Spanish-language versions), as well as model materials for work with the media and public events.

    The materials are offered in easy, downloadable format. You can print them from your computer or supply them to your local print shop.

    For complete instructions on how to use these resources, please refer to the comprehensive Idea Book.

  • Idea Book
  • NAMI Store
  • MIAW 2009 Logo (for print (jpg), Web (gif), and professional printing (eps) formats)
  • MIAW 2009 Logo (Spanish) (for print (jpg), Web (gif), and professional printing (eps) formats)
  • MIAW 2009 Stickers (Avery Label Size: 6878) (English)
  • MIAW 2009 Stickers (Avery Label Size: 6878) (Spanish)
  • MIAW 2009 8.5 x 11" Poster (English)
  • MIAW 2009 8.5 x 11" Poster (Spanish)
  • Materials for work with the Media

  • MIAW 2009 Sample Press Release (Word)
  • MIAW 2009 Letter to the Editor Sample (Word)
  • MIAW 2009 Op-Ed Sample (Word)
  • Click here for related resources, fact sheets, programs and more from