A nationwide organization providing resources, acceptance, support, and treatment for mental illnesses
In a day and age where nearly one in five Americans suffer from some form of a mental illness, increased awareness, advocacy, and resources are key to providing the access, acceptance, support, and treatment that are essential to bettering the lives of those who suffer from these illnesses. This is no small undertaking, and one which requires comprehensive and extensive care. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a nationwide organization which has become cornerstone to this endeavor.
From more well-known and prevalent disorders, such as depression and anxiety, to the less familiar and more rare ones, such as certain phobias, the scope of mental illness across the United States is wide. The prevalence of these disorders carries with it adverse effects that reach deep into the heart of our country, our homes, and our families.
While recent research cites that almost 20 percent of Americans suffer from a mental illness, the World Health Organization (WHO) asserts an even higher percentage, writing that worldwide, one in four individuals will suffer from a mental or neurological disorder within their life. Also, according to WHO information and other studies, the United States has consistently ranked higher in terms of rates of mental illnesses in comparison to other countries, at certain points throughout the years. Sadly, within these periods, our country has at times also witnessed some of the smaller percentages of treatment, creating an unfortunate treatment gap.
Among numerous other elements, it is this discrepancy between need and treatment that the National Alliance on Mental Illness seeks to alleviate.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness offers a comprehensive database of information on specific mental illnesses, including resources relating to treatment, support, and even discussion boards; and also information on conditions related to mental illness. They also publish interesting and engaging blogs which present these illnesses within the scope of day-to-day lives and situations, helping to decrease stigma, increase acceptance, and encourage healthy coping and interpersonal skills.
As an added outreach and resource base, there are almost 1,000 NAMI State Organizations and NAMI Affiliates. Click here to find one located near you.
In order to ensure the momentum and impact of their goals, NAMI is committed to deliver a dynamic and multi-directional approach, aimed at helping individuals in need from the ground up. To best ensure this, as sourced from the “Identity and Mission” page of the organization’s site, NAMI champions for effective:
These free classes provide education for individuals, their families, and other entities that may support them, while offering instruction on advocacy, recovery, increased coping skills, and other areas pertinent to engaging and supporting a person’s mental health needs.
To spread their message of hope and change to a wider audience, NAMI has prepared various presentations which relay messages of advocacy, understanding, support, and outreach. These presentations also educate individuals on the warning signs and symptoms of mental illness, the importance of an early intervention, the means of obtaining help, and the power and possibility of recovery. Each presentation is prepared for a different group of individuals.
Mental illnesses quite commonly impose a sense of loneliness or isolation upon an individual. Support groups are one dynamic and engaging way that fight these states, offering suffers of mental illness and their families a means to connect, so that they may learn valuable coping skills, greater resiliency, and increased compassion, among may other valuable interpersonal connections.
To encourage and direct those who have personally encountered a mental illness within their live, or that of a loved one, to one to turn their experience into an opportunity for advocacy, NAMI has created NAMI Smarts for Advocacy. This progressive, hands-on training helps interested parties in learning how to effectively tell their story, increase their communication skills, and in setting up meetings with governmental officials.
CLICK HERE for more information on these many programs and to look for one near you.
A toll-free resource, NAMI HelpLine is a free service which offers lifesaving information by way of resources, referrals, and support to individuals in need.
Call the 24/7 NAMI HelpLine at: 800-950-NAMI
To connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text message.
Text “NAMI” to: 741741
According to NAMI, any individual with a serious mental illness should be granted the opportunity to receive an HIV test. Also, they believe that an HIV positive individual should have safe treatment for these co-occurring health conditions. Lastly, education, counseling services, and supportive care should be made available to these individuals, their families, and treatment providers.
To better provide this, NAMI advocates for renewed attention on local, state, and federal levels, and more enhanced communication and effort between all applicable parties, inducing families, communities, schools, welfare systems, and juvenile justice systems.
To Decrease Stigma
To disseminate this information, the National Alliance on Mental Illness produces and distributes a variety of publications geared towards educating on and advocating for mental illness, while also informing individuals on the current state of affairs surrounding the mental health needs, outreach, programs, etc. within our country.
These publications provide accurate and comprehensive information on mental illness and the legislation, research, and events that pertain to it. They also publish various surveys and stories on mental illness.