Last week we discussed Mental Health America, one of the local agencies providing mental health support and education for our community. This week we will look at National Alliance on Mental Illness, (NAMI) which has been serving the Lafayette area for over 32 years. NAMI’s purpose is to provide education, support, and advocacy for those living with mental illness and their families and loved ones, striving to end the stigma and raise awareness about mental illness, showing individuals and their loved ones how to live successfully with the symptoms of mental illness.
Sheri Moore, Executive Director, and Joy Mabbit, Program Director are excited to be engaged with individuals and agencies in White County and offer community outreach, support groups, training services, and a HelpLine.
NAMI’s Community Outreach services endeavor to increase awareness and support for those with symptoms of mental illness and their families.
Ending the Silence is a fifty minute in-school presentation designed to teach middle and high school students about the signs and symptoms of mental illness, how to recognize the early warning signs, and the importance of acknowledging those warning signs.
In Our Own Voice speakers share compelling and personal testimonies of living with and overcoming the challenges posed by mental illness. By broadening people’s knowledge of mental illness, this presentation replaces misunderstanding, fear and judgment with insight, awareness and acceptance.
FaithNet provides information about resources to educate clergy and congregations on mental health issues to create stronger support systems and welcoming, empathetic faith communities for people living with serious mental illness.
Family & Friends is a free 90-minute or four-hour seminar that informs people who have loved ones with a mental health condition how to best support them. It’s also an opportunity to meet other people in similar situations and gain community support.
Stigma Free Company equips companies with the tools, resources, assets and information they need to promote mental health awareness in the workplace.
In addition, NAMI facilitates Support Groups to engage and encourage individuals with serious mental illness and their families and loved ones.
The Connection Support group provides a structured atmosphere for individuals to bring their problems and obtain support from their peers. Meetings are led by NAMI-trained individuals who are in recovery themselves. They understand the daily challenges and can offer encouragement and support. These classes are held in Lafayette, Monticello and Tippecanoe County Community Corrections.The Family Support Group supports the one in five families affected by severe mental illnesses. Trained facilitators who have experienced mental illness in their own families guide other families through the process of understanding and coping with mental illness.
NAMI Peer to Peer Class is an eight-week class for adults with mental health conditions. The course is designed to encourage growth, healing and recovery among participants.
NAMI Family-to-Family Class is an eight-week class for families, significant others and friends of people with mental health conditions. Designated as an evidence-based program by SAMHSA, it facilitates a better understanding of mental health conditions to increase coping skills and empower participants to become advocates for their family members.
In conjunction with MHA and other agencies, NAMI offers an intensive five-day Crisis Intervention Training for law enforcement officers to learn how to identify and de-escalate a mental illness crisis, which has been shown to significantly reduce jail commitments and prosecutions.
NAMI offers a free HelpLine: 1-800-950-6264 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. HelpLine volunteers answer questions, offer support and provide practical next steps in dealing with mental illness needs and concerns.
The NAMI website offers an online resource directory related to mental illness, FAQ’s, connections to Warm Lines and much more. For more information, please visit https://www.nami-wci.org/ or call (765) 423-6939.
Lynn Saylor is the AmeriCorps member working with the United Against Opioid Abuse Initiative alongside the White County United Way. She is a major facilitator of the United Council on Opioids serving White County and a regular contributor to local media.