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Division of Mental Health Services

Office of Children and Youth (OCY)

Education and Training

For more information, please contact: Kristy Leach at 615-253-4800 or

ERASE THE STIGMA: Erase the Stigma is a statewide educational program that promotes understanding of mental health and wellness by providing basic information and education about mental illness, the warning signs and symptoms in regards to children and youth with serious emotional disturbance, and their needs and the needs of their families.  Any group, school, church or organization can request these services. 

A duck puppet/mascot named I.C.Hope is the signature method of providing mental health information to children and youth in concert with storytelling and other interactive exercises. 

Erase the Stigma is available statewide, which provided education to over 15,000 people in FY12.

For more information, please call the Mental Health Association of Middle Tennessee at (615) 269-5355 or visit

CHILD AND FAMILY MENTAL HEALTH EDUCATION PROGRAM: NAMI Tennessee provides several education courses for children with Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) and their families.  The Beginnings/NAMI Basics curriculum provides information about mental illness for primary caregivers of children with SED.  Caregivers may be parents, extended family or foster parents. Beginnings/NAMI Basics also provides information about mental illness for youth to better understand these illnesses. 

The Breaking the Silence curriculum was developed for middle and senior high school students to put a human face on mental illness and confront the myths that reinforce the stigma related to mental illness. 

These programs are available statewide and in FY12 over 12,000 people were served in some capacity, including support groups, Helpline calls, or training participation.

For more information on these programs, contact NAMI Tennessee at 1-800-467-3589 or visit

VIOLENCE AND BULLYING PREVENTION:  Funding is provided to Centerstone of Tennessee, Inc., for the Violence and Bullying Prevention program which instills resiliency in children in order to prevent violent behaviors.  Learning empathy skills, anger management, and other skills taught with this curriculum promotes resiliency and reduces discipline referrals due to bullying and or other violent behaviors. 

This program is available to 4th-8th grade students in various Middle Tennessee counties, including but not limited to Bedford, Coffee, Dickson, Franklin, Montgomery, and Stewart. In FY12, 777 children were served.

For more information, please contact Centerstone of Tennessee, Inc., at (931)721-3312 or visit www.centerstone­­.org

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