Women to Watch

JULIANNE CARBIN

ENDING THE SILENCE OF MENTAL ILLNESS
By Candice Wagener

JULIANNE CARBIN FIRST LEARNED about the National Alliance on Mental Illness during graduate school at UW-Madison.

“I thought that was just amazing that a family could find an organization in a time of such need and create that hope,” says Carbin of the grassroots mental health education, advocacy and support organization.

Now, as executive director of NAMI Wisconsin, Carbin co-founded NAMI on Campus and this month launches Raise Your Voices, an initiative to help youth start a new conversation about mental health.

According to Carbin, one in five young people will experience a mental health condition. Half of those will drop out of school. Raise Your Voices strives to change that through peer education, high school clubs, youth empowerment, engagement and advocacy, and by bridging the gap from high school to college. Three schools in Dane County will pilot the program, which will eventually go statewide.

“There really isn’t anything like it,” says Carbin, adding, “Youth actually do have a very powerful voice, especially [with] our elected officials.”

Which will factor in considerably during an election year.