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Episode 77 | Cathryn Nacario, CEO, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Episode 77 | Cathryn Nacario, CEO, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
Oct 2, 2023 ยท 30m 57s

In this excellent episode, Nancy and Jose are joined in the studio by Cathryn Nacario, CEO of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental...

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In this excellent episode, Nancy and Jose are joined in the studio by Cathryn Nacario, CEO of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, covers San Diego and Imperial Country and has three main pillars: support, education, and advocacy for individuals affected by mental health concerns. The organization is peer-led, with staff members having lived experiences with mental health issues, co-occurring disorders, or being caregivers.

Listen in as the hosts and Cathryn underscore the importance of normalizing discussions about mental health, emphasizing that mental health is an integral part of overall well-being. The stigma surrounding mental health is still powerful, and the delay in seeking treatment due to this stigma is highlighted โ€“ an average of 11 to 13 years before individuals seek help. This episode also touches on the subjective nature of mental health concerns, where what's considered "bad" varies from person to person. The importance of seeking treatment, whether through therapy, medication, or holistic approaches, is stressed, as treatment varies for each individual.

Hear Nacario discuss NAMI's efforts to break the stigma around mental health through programs like "In Our Own Voice," where individuals with lived experience share their stories. Cathryn also touches on the challenges of accessing mental health care, including affordability, workforce shortages, and difficulties in finding suitable providers. Telehealth and group therapy are identified as potential solutions to improve accessibility.


An excellent episode on filling gaps in the community with Cathryn. Here are some other takeaways from the interview:
  • The importance of normalizing conversations about mental health.
  • The enduring stigma surrounding mental health and the substantial delay in seeking treatment as well as NAMI's efforts to combat the stigma
  • Challenges in accessing mental health care, including affordability and workforce shortages, are discussed, with a nod to the potential of telehealth and group therapy.
  • NAMI's work extends to addressing homelessness linked to mental illness, operating independent living homes, and providing essential services to unhoused individuals.
  • The answers to the rapid-fire questions

An excellent interview from a passionate gap minder. Thank you, Cathryn, for your contributions in San Diego, and for joining us on The Gap Minders.

Enjoy this episode and be sure to subscribe to the show.

If you have any questions or want to contact Nancy or Jose, please send an email to podcast@uwsd.org. Thank you for listening.

To learn more about the two social impact organizations making The Gap Minders possible, please visit www.TheGapMinders.org.
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