NAMI – The National Alliance on Mental Illness

May 28, 2016 | 2016 Articles, Lorie Lewis Ham, Mental Health

by Lorie Lewis Ham

Since May is Mental Health Month, we have been featuring a mental health related article every week. To end this month, we interviewed Bob Carolla, Senior Writer, Communications & Public Affairs, at NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness) about what they are and what they do.
mhm2016-logo-stack-green

KRL: Can you tell us exactly what NAMI is?

Bob: NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.

KRL: How and when did it come to be?

Bob: Many grassroots groups came together and founded NAMI in 1979 at a conference in Madison, Wisconsin. It was organized by a few families working from a kitchen table.

KRL: What all is it that you do?

Bob: We listen. We lead. We educate. We support. We advocate. That’s the most basic description. Listening and leading is important for any grassroots organization or movement. Education and support is provided directly through free classes and support groups. Advocacy occurs at local, state, and national level.

mental health

Bob Carolla

KRL: How is it that you help people with their mental illness issues?

Bob: NAMI offers 11 signature education and support programs, including NAMI Family-to-Family Education; NAMI Basics for parents with children and teens living with mental illness; NAMI Peer-to-Peer Education; NAMI Family Support Groups; and NAMI Connection recovery support groups. See www.nami.org/programs.

KRL: How many chapters do you have and are they only in the United States?

Bob: There are approximately 900 NAMI State organizations and local NAMI Affiliates. They are only in the United States.

KRL: What is it that the chapters do?

Bob: NAMI State Organizations and NAMI Affiliates engage in many of the same activities as the national organization: education, support and advocacy. The national organization might create programs or materials, train trainers, or provide other support, but state and local leaders implement them.

KRL: We are coming to the end of Mental Health Month. Can you share with us what exactly that is and why it’s important?

Bob: Mental Health Awareness Month is an opportunity for individuals and communities to focus on mental health as a priority. It’s a time for raising public awareness and sponsoring public education. Everyone needs to learn the symptoms of mental illness and where to get help if it’s needed. Many kinds of activities make up the month: news media stories, social media discussions, lectures, movie nights, candlelight vigils, and illuminating landmarks in green—the symbolic color of hope, recovery, and renewal. The goal is for the month’s concentrated focus to create greater awareness that can carry forward into the rest of the year.nami

KRL: How is your work funded and how can people donate?

Bob: NAMI’s funding comes from individuals, foundations, corporations, and federal agencies. We greatly appreciate individual donations which can be made through the “Donate Now” button on the upper right corner of the NAMI website homepage: www.nami.org.

KRL: How can people get involved either for help or to help with your work?

Bob: Contact the NAMI Affiliate closest to where they live or the NAMI State Organization. There is a locator with contact information on the NAMI website’s homepage: www.nami.org/Find-Your-Local-NAMI. The NAMI HelpLine also can provide local contact information: 800-950-NAMI (6264).

KRL: Are you on other social media sites?

Bob: Facebook: www.facebook.com/nami Twitter: twitter.com/namicommunicate.

Check out KRL’s Mental Health section for more mental health related articles.

Muffy Walker was born and raised outside of Philadelphia, PA. She currently resides in Switzerland with her husband John C. Reed and their three sons. In 1983, Walker graduated with a Master’s of Science in Psychiatric Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. She worked in the mental health field for over 18 years until she moved to California when she obtained her MBA with a focus in marketing from the University of California-Irvine. Walker is the founder and Chairman of International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF). After learning that her youngest son had Bipolar Disorder, Walker joined other mental health boards and ultimately started IBPF. She has served on a plethora of boards including Children’s Hospital, Kids Korps USA, NeighborHelp, ChildHelp USA, and has dedicated the past 10 years of her life championing the education of the public about mental illness.

0 Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Video Game Addiction Podcast – Fortnite Forums - […] (2018). Retrieved from https://kingsriverlife.com/05/28/nami-the-national-alliance-on-mental/ […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

SUBSCRIBE NOW!

podcast

powered by TinyLetter

The gold medal for all-around wonderful kitty could easily go to darling Chicken Little! This cutiepie never misses an opportunity to hoot it up with her friends, explore any nook or cranny, and make it her mission to check out whatever happens to be going on. Chicken Little came along way after suffering a toe injury calling for immediate amputation. She's all better now and you can't even notice she's missing a rear toe. What an adorable combination she is of fun-loving spirit and sweet, deep affection, a girl who will easily capture hearts in a forever family that cherishes her. Precious Chicken Little would love to be your most darling doll! Check her out on the Cat House website to learn more.