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Summer 2017 Update

In May of 2016, NAMI Mississippi’s Executive Director, Tameka Tobias-Smith,
decided that it was time to expand in a way that would reach youth and young adults, and as a result, the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) was established.

From the Legislatuve Meet and Greet at the Mississippi State Capitol in February (left to right): YAC members Jamie Kurlej and Hannah Kanengiser with prison reform advocate Willie Blackmon (image courtesy of Jamie Kurlej)

YAC volunteers recognize the value of being present within the community. From Say It Out Loud “road trips” to back-to-school drives, community involvement and outreach remain a top priority to the Council.

Throughout the first half of 2017, YAC advocated for prison reform during a Legislative Meet and Greet in February, partnered with NFusion Metro for a summer block party event in May, and attended several community events, including Word and Worship’s Back-to-School Bash in July.

For the remainder of 2017, YAC will be hosting a string of events during Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in October. To kick off MIAW, YAC will be hosting a Cupcake Wars fundraiser at Broad Street Bakery & Cafe. Following Cupcake Wars, YAC will be hosting Campus Conversation forums at various colleges for the remainder of MIAW. The focus of these forums will be to bring awareness and insight into mental illness on college campuses.

Mission Statement: As the Youth Advisory Council, our mission is to encourage, educate and immerse ourselves within our local community, while also striving to put an end to the stigma of mental illness. We focus on reaching and involving youth and young adults throughout our journey to end stigma and advocate for those living with mental illness.

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