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Alex Boniello and More Join NAMI-NYC's #MentalHealthMatters Social Media Campaign

Alex Boniello and More Join NAMI-NYC's #MentalHealthMatters Social Media Campaign

NAMI-NYC (local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness) will mark Mental Health Awareness Month in May with a focus on meeting the immediate needs of New Yorkers impacted by COVID-19. With added online video support groups and programs, NAMI-NYC is working to keep pace with demand for mental health support in the community after experiencing a 60% surge in its Helpline calls to address depression, grief, anxiety, panic attacks and other related mental health conditions since mid-March.

Executive Director Matt Kudish said, "With the uncertainty and social isolation of this global pandemic, our number one priority is ensuring that anyone who requires help, information or support, receives it, free of charge." Kudish continued, "Now more than ever, our community is in urgent need of our life-changing services to address their mental health needs and serious mental illness conditions. We expect that the number of New Yorkers who seek our aid will exponentially grow in the coming months due to COVID-19, far exceeding the 19,000 individuals we helped last year."

Starting Friday, May 1, NAMI-NYC's online activities and initiatives for Mental Health Awareness Month will include:

Ask the Expert public education webinars:

-Tuesday, May 5: "Supporting Student Stress, Worry & Mental Health During COVID-19" - co-hosted with Effective School Solutions (mental health care practices for K-12 students)

-Monday, May 11: "COVID-19 and Our Mental Health" - two licensed clinicians will address how to take better care of mental health during stay-at-home orders and using social distancing practices

-Additional live guest speakers and topics to be announced - held via Zoom, Facebook Live and/or Instagram Live

-Peer Support Groups (monthly, ongoing)

-Wellness Chats (held weekly via phone or online video) for anyone who needs a mental health check-in

-Social Groups (monthly, ongoing) offering yoga, music, knitting, humor and art/painting/drawing, including a special family-friendly slime-making workshop on May 30 with Sloomoo Institute

-Digital Wellness toolkit for parents (exclusive downloadable guide launching Friday, May 15), in partnership with #Half the Story

-NAMIWalks Your Way (Saturday, May 30), a national day of hope to support #MentalHealthForAll, led by NAMI affiliates throughout the country, reimagined as a virtual day of self-care, support, fundraising and mental health awareness.

-#MentalHealthMatters | NAMI-NYC's social media campaign featuring NY mental health advocates and voices including SoulCycle senior master instructor Stacey Griffith, downtown cabaret performer, comedian & podcaster Bridget Everett, Broadway star Alex Boniello, comedian Gary Gulman, comedian Chris Gethard, fashion & lifestyle blogger Mandy Ansari, podcaster & comedian Remy Kassimir, tennis pro Noah Rubin, founder of Behind the Racquet, and sound meditation practitioner Jackie Cantwell of "The Big Quiet"

Cause-related brand partnerships benefiting NAMI-NYC:

-Fourlaps, an NYC-based premium men's athletic apparel brand, will be donating 20% of proceeds from its best-selling Bolt Short for the month of May. To further its support, Fourlaps will also donate 100% of proceeds from sales of the Bolt Short on Giving Tuesday, May 5.

-Fashion label Zadig & Voltaire will be supporting through its "Art is Hope" program. Throughout May and June, Zadig is partnering with artists to bring awareness and funding to the cause of mental health. 10% of proceeds from its product sales will be donated, as well as 100% of proceeds from all "Art is Hope" product that has been hand-painted by Jormi, Zadig's current artist in residence.

-The Dorm (young adult mental health treatment centers, located in NYC & DC), is donating $1 for every virtual treatment session held in May, expecting to raise $4k over 30 days.

NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL ILLNESS OF NEW YORK CITY (NAMI-NYC) helps families and individuals affected by mental illness build better lives through education, support, and advocacy. NAMI-NYC offers several evidence-based education classes, 30 monthly support groups, public education programs to combat stigma, and advocates to improve the mental health system for all New Yorkers. Their programs and services -- which reached over 19,000 individuals last year -- are led by trained volunteers and staff with lived experience and are available free of charge to anyone who needs them. For more information, please visit

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