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20065 Gives Advocates a New Place to Dig In

Editors Note (May 12, 2008): is no longer an active site. 

December 2006

Do you want to spread the word about mental health?  Do you like to educate others about mental illness?  Do you enjoy spirited debates about hot topics?  If so, NAMI has the place for you. Pull up a chair and dig into

NAMI recently teamed up with a new social networking website,, as an experiment to transform polarized national debate into constructive dialogue.  As one of Hotsoup’s leading partner organizations, NAMI hosts a discussion page (or "loop") at on "Mental Illness and Society." NAMI’s loop offers an online community for people with mental illness, their families and friends to direct a national discussion on mental health.

Launched in October, is an opportunity for NAMI to educate a new audience on mental illness, while also providing an exciting new forum for long-time mental health advocates to share concerns, ideas, advice and encouragement.  So far, it has been a resounding success:

  • In the first month of NAMI’s participation on, NAMI’s loop was one of the ten most popular pages out of approximately 1,000 other issue loops on the website. 
  • NAMI’s loop was featured on as an example of an online community engaged in positive dialogue.
  • Many new advocates have found their voice on NAMI’s loop.  Participants are engaged in topics as wide-ranging as stigma, employment, media depictions of mental illness, insurance parity, coping mechanisms, humor, and the effect of the holiday season on people with mental illness. 

By harnessing the power of technology and the popularity of social networking websites, is a new frontier in NAMI’s mission to drive the national debate about fair and equitable treatment for people living with mental illness. 

But, to keep the momentum going, we need your participation.  Check out the loop and see if there is a discussion thread that you’d like to add a new perspective to.  Or, if there’s something that’s not being discussed on NAMI’s loop that’s important to you, create a free account through and get the ball rolling!

During these cold winter days, join the discussion at and make your voice heard!

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