NAMI On Campus can feel intimidating if you are new to the Youth and Young Adult space, but there is somewhere to start for everyone. Please read through this page and use whatever suggestions feel most right for your team’s capacity. 


There are many ways to reach out to high school and college students. Some strategies work better with one age group than the other, but you can try out these strategies to see what works best for your target audience. 

Utilizing Existing Contacts


One of the best ways to get started is by utilizing the contacts you already have. This can be school contacts from previous presentations such as Ending the Silence and In Our Own Voice, parents attending NAMI Basics, young adults attending support groups, community centers that you collaborate with, or anyone else that have a connection to high school and/or college students.

You can send an email to put the word out and see if they would be interested in hearing more about NOC. Here’s an example outreach email:


We had a great time connecting with [insert audience] during our [insert presentation or program]. Would you be interested in a 15 to 30-minute chat about our NAMI On Campus Clubs that can help the conversation continue at your school? NAMI On Campus is NAMI’s college and high school initiative to help empower students to advocate for their mental health and end the stigma that surrounds mental health conditions. If you’d like to learn more about NAMI On Campus before we share how we can support bringing this initiative to your school, click here

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Warm regards,

[insert name]


In combination with utilizing your existing contacts, it’s important to look at how you are marketing your message. In the Logo and Promotional Materials section, we have some downloadable templates you can use to customize flyers and your materials. 

Think about where you are marketing NOC and how it will be received.

  • Instagram- posts, stories, and/or reels on NOC in combination with any other work you’re doing with youth and young adults
  • TikTok- short videos talking about NOC, highlighting existing clubs, bringing in teens and young adults to lead videos about their mental health and/or mental wellness tips.
  • Events- having someone knowledgeable about NOC to talk about it, providing flyers with more info to interested teens and young adults.

A great way to make sure that you are making effective efforts to reach teens and young adults is by getting feedback directly from that audience. Consider consulting with these age groups through a youth advisory or focus group. If that isn’t an option for you, ask your team to consult with the teens and young adults in their lives to provide feedback on the impact of your message. 

Need some more help? Contact and we can provide additional feedback and suggestions to help you get on the right path.


Now that you’ve marketed NOC to your community, people will start to reach out to you and ask about getting started. Your role in the onboarding process is to answer questions and offer support in completing their requirements. These requirements are the same for both high school and college clubs. Most of the work at this point involves interested parties completing steps 1 through 5 of the startup process. You will share the NOC Contact Form with the interested party when they have completed all other requirements. You may add additional requirements if you would like if that will help you in establishing a better connection with the clubs.

Requirements to start a NOC Club:

  • Step 1: Get in touch with your local NAMI Affiliate or State Organization- Depending on your capacity, this initial contact can be completed by sending you an email, calling on the phone, or meeting with you in person or virtually. It is up to you to decide what type of relationship you would like to establish with the club. By the end of the interaction, you should have a way to contact the interested party and they should have a way to contact you. 
  • Step 2: Complete all campus requirements- They must talk with their school's administration about what steps they have to take to establish a club on their campus. Campuses may differ on their policies, so it’s important to get this out of the way to prevent any setbacks later down the road. If you already have a school in their school district, you can inform the interested school about what types of requirements your other clubs have experienced. 
  • Step 3: Secure a faculty advisor- They must find a faculty member who can be committed to attending club meetings and events. This advisor should also be comfortable talking about mental health. This role cannot be held by a parent/guardian or any non-staff member of the school. 
  • Step 4: Secure your club leaders- At a minimum, a NOC club should contain a president, secretary, and a treasurer to help support club meetings and other club related efforts (i.e. events, funding, club materials).
  • Step 5: Register your Club with NAMI- Once they have completed the first 4 requirements, you can share with them the NOC Contact Form.

Once NAMI has received a NOC Contact Form from someone, we send a confirmation email to the submitter with the NAMI State Organization and NAMI Affiliate Contact. We use the emails that are directly provided in the form and any additional contacts we have on record that we have been notified to include in these types of emails. In the case that the submitter did not include their NSO and/or NA, we will use the contacts that we already have in our records associated with their closest NSO/NA NOC contact. For this step to be successful, your organization must update NAMI with the most up-to-date contact person for NOC so that you continue to be informed about new clubs and NOC opportunities. 

There’s a lot to cover in your first interactions with interested schools so we’ve put together a sample response to help guide your conversations—


Thank you so much for your interest in NAMI On Campus (NOC)! We are so excited to start this process with you to start a club at your school. By contacting us, you have taken a step towards completing our requirements to start a NOC club. Here is an overview all requirements to get your NOC club up and running:

  • Step 1: Get in touch with your local NAMI Affiliate or State Organization
  • Step 2: Complete all campus requirements
  • Step 3: Secure a faculty advisor
  • Step 4: Secure your club leaders
  • Step 5: Register your Club with NAMI

We would love to set up a time to talk with you and discuss our role in supporting your club. Please let us know when would be the best time to arrange that. 

After you have completed steps 2-3, reach back out to us to receive a link to complete the NOC Contact Form where you will formally register your club with NAMI. NAMI will send you a confirmation email that they have received your form and provide you with information on how to access NOC materials. 

If you haven’t already viewed our NOC page, we recommend you take a look to get more information about NOC. 

[Address any specific questions if they haven’t already been answered]

Thank you again for your interest and please let us know if you have any questions throughout the process. 

Warm regards,

[insert name]

First-Time Meetings


First-time meetings can be hard to navigate at first, but once you get the flow of it, you’ll have your own script that feels comfortable to you. As part of the requirements of starting a club, a club can either fulfill the requirement through emailing their affiliate, schedule a meeting to either talk on the phone or hop on a virtual meeting platform, or meet in person. Depending on your capacity, you can decide which option you prefer to use as your affiliate’s standard. 

During your first meeting your goal is to inform the interested club about who you are and how you will be supporting them, share your contact information so you know how to keep in touch, and establish your communication standards going forward. When scheduling the meeting, it is best to include the NAMI Affiliate contact person, the interested students, and their faculty advisor. If you’d like to bring more people into the conversation, you could also invite a representative from the NAMI State Organization and an existing NOC Club Leader who can provide insight and advice based on their experience. It will be helpful to prepare an agenda prior to the meeting to keep track of all the topics you want to discuss as shown in the sample agenda below.

Sample Agenda

  • Introductions
  • Who is NAMI
  • What is expected of clubs
  • NAMI Support
  • Q & A
  • Next Steps

Be sure to engage the students in the conversation by asking them questions to see how you can best support them.

  • Why do you want to start a NOC Club at your school?
  • Do you have any goals you want to reach in your first year?
  • What steps have you completed to establish your club on your campus?

Ongoing Support


In the Roles and Responsibilities for NAMI On Campus you’ll find an in-depth version of your role in supporting NOC clubs. Although the in-depth version lays out many details that may seem intimidating, we have created a list of different levels of support you can provide depending on your team’s capacity.

NAMI State Organizations


  • Connect interested schools to their local NAMI Affiliate when applicable
  • Keep an open line of communication with the clubs and NAs as needed
  • Lend support and resources to clubs, but avoid taking a leadership role if there is an existing supporting NAMI Affiliate
  • Support NAMI Affiliates learning about NOC
  • Extend an invitation to clubs to attend NSO Conferences, trainings, NAMI Walks and other NAMI events
  • Share success with National, state membership via newsletters, informative emails, affiliate announcements, etc.
  • Recommend mental health speakers who may present at school club functions/events
  • Keep a list of known NOC clubs and their contacts within the state

Additional capacity can include:

  • Host monthly calls or workshops
  • Arrange for speakers and trained program leaders from NAMI educational programs to speak at school club meetings and/or events
  • Provide internship opportunities
  • Look for funding to support local NAMI Affiliates and/or NOC Clubs

NAMI Affiliates


  • Designate a point of contact to work directly with the campus clubs and NSOs
  • Keep an open line of communication with the school club so you can provide support as needed
  • Provide local information and available services regarding how to get help for a mental health condition
  • Share club successes with National, NSO, and affiliate membership via newsletters, informative emails, affiliate announcements, etc.
  • Provide any upcoming events that the NAs will be hosting where the students and school staff could attend and/or partner with the hosting affiliate
  • Invite the club members to engage in local advocacy meetings, mental health committee meetings, serve on stakeholder groups and volunteer their time to issues and needs of your organization that overlap with their interest.

Additional capacity can include:

  • Work with club on ways to make affiliate activities and events inviting to young adults
  • Collaborate with club to create their action plan and making sure that the club focuses on succession planning
  • Hold a monthly call or in-person meetings for clubs in the area
  • Provide volunteer opportunities for the club members
  • Working with the club on their Action Plan Guide

If you have any questions about supporting NOC, email

Help Center

Visit our Help Center to learn about and share knowledge on a variety of topics, including NAMI 360, membership management, the NAMI Convention, Helpline FAQ, class reporting and more.