No Shame On U Makes Impact in Jewish Community and Beyond
How many times in your life have you thought of a great idea for a new business or mission driven organization? Many of us have these light bulb moments but most don’t act on that impulse. For a select few talented, passionate entrepreneurs, their breakthrough idea can be a game changer.
This was the case for Miriam Ament, founder of No Shame On U, an organization she created to eliminate the stigma of mental health and to raise awareness in the Jewish community and beyond. Miriam was part of JCC Chicago’s exclusive entrepreneurship incubator called JCC PresenTense Chicago (now Seed613). Fellows in the program were selected because they had an idea, venture and vision with the potential to impact social change for the Jewish community. Last year, as part of the fellowship, thirteen Jewish social innovators were able to connect with mentors, coaches and experts to successfully launch their business plans and directly impact the community.
Miriam created No Shame On U to help those who suffer from mental issues not feel ashamed. The organization also helps equip friends and family members with effective tools to provide support and ultimately change lives.
Since she founded the organization in 2014, Miriam has not wavered in her commitment. Last fall she was part of a panel that presented to University of Chicago students. This past summer she spoke with teens at JCC Camp Chi where many of the campers shared their own stories and concerns about friends with mental health conditions. Miriam has also spoken at the Mental Health Forum at Temple Chai, to a mental health support group for Orthodox women and has been featured on PBS, WGN, and in a dozen publications including the Chicago Sun-Times, JUF News and Chicago Jewish News.
More than 20 million people in the U.S. live with depression and Miriam was one of them. “I faced stigma and isolation from some friends and family,” Miriam recalled. “The best example is one of my then closest friends called me when I was in the hospital and said ‘I only want to talk to you when you’re happy so let’s not talk again for a while.’ I never heard from her again. For years, I didn’t tell anyone about my mental health condition or hospitalization. In the fall of 2013, I had the opportunity to meet actress Glenn Close. She is a huge mental health advocate and she was the first person to whom I told my story. She was amazing to talk to and I thought if I can tell her, I can really make an impact in the Jewish community. I applied to the amazing JCC PresenTense Chicago fellowship. Being a part of the 2014 cohort helped me launch NSOU.”
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and Miriam’s tireless fight to shift the conversation surrounding mental health continues through large and small group events, digital engagement and one-on-one, non-judgmental peer support.
We are so proud of the impact Miriam is making in our Jewish community and beyond, and honored to be a catalyst for No Shame On U.
For more information on No Shame On U and how the organization can help you or someone you love, visit www.NoShameOnU.com.