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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: Our mission is to provide support, advocacy and education in order to improve the lives of individuals with mental illness and their families.

Results: NAMI DuPage programs help families living with mental illness gain access to support, educational resources and community resources to help them in their paths to recovery. It is the only organization of its kind in DuPage County to provide educational and support services for individuals with mental illness and their families. Our most notable accomplishment in the past year has been to continue to develop meaningful partnerships with schools, hospitals and police departments in order to initiate effective programs to reach and support a broad base of individuals and families struggling with mental illness. We were awarded the 2007 Outstanding Local Affiliate Award by NAMI National for our exemplary efforts in program development, educational outreach and consumer inclusion. In 2008, we were awarded the Most Innovative Services Award from NAMI of Illinois for the development of our hospital project NAMI Recovery Connections. The number of people reached by our Education Program has increased from approximately 200 in 2003 to over 6000 individuals served in 2007. We have expanded our development department and were able to move to a new, larger location that meets the growing needs of our organization. The new office has enabled staff and volunteers to coordinate programs more effectively. Lastly, we entered into our second year of a large grant from Community Memorial Foundation which has allowed for continued implementation of NAMI Recovery Connections.

Target demographics: Individuals and families affected by mental illness in DuPage County, Illinois and surrounding areas.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 6000

Geographic areas served: DuPage County, Illinois

Programs: Consumer supportive services: nami of updage offers individual, family and parent support groups at various locations throughout dupage county, as well as a resource hot line. As an extension of its supportive group services, nami dupage conducts a peer program to train individuals and families, who live with mental illness and have found recovery, to work as peer specialists to help other families and individuals develop a knowledge base and coping strategies for daily living. In fy 2015, nami dupage held approximately 320 support group meetings for over 4,200 participants and graduated 12 family and individual peer specialists from a one year training program.

school education: porgrams include, "ending the silence" and "ets 101" that were created by nami dupage and adopted by nami national for use by all nami nationwide affiliates. These programs are interactive classroom presentations which educate high school freshman and middle school students on the early warning signs and symptoms of mental illness, how to get help and reduce the stigma. In fy 2015, nami dupage conducted 506 presentations to over 21,000 students in 22 high schools and 30 middle schools in dupage county. In addition, nami dupage offers "parents and teachers as allies", a program that helps elementary, middle and high school teachers and staff identify early-onset mental illness in children and adolescents.

general education: nami dupage offers several signature multi-week educational programs for individuals and families, including but not limited to, wrap, which offers a personal recovery plan; family to family, which equips family members with strategies for handling crises and relapse (198 participants over 331 hours in fy 15 and basics, which educates parents of children under 18 on managing the diagnosis process to navigating school or mental health systems. Community education classes that range for a half to full day training on the basics of mental illness to diverse organizations including law enforcement, libraries, churches, colleges, and local businesses and corporations (76 trainings for nearly 1,800 people, fy 15).

Community Stories

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

19

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my daughter was diagnosed with a mental illness, NAMI provided current information quickly. Then, they provided a safe place where I could meet with other parents in a similar situation. There are/were no bailouts or final solutions, just the comfort and support of others who understood and encouraged me to have hope.

19

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Mary Lou, This story is about a Support Group not a person. Our group (DBSA Aurora formerly known as DMDA Aurora; Mercy Center Support Group) started in November 1991 at Provena Mercy Center Hospital. The group was made up of the volunteers from the Adult Inpatient members that were released or getting ready to be released. The group was run by two hospital staff members. In June of 1993 the group became a "Self- Support Group" with myself being elected Group Leader. During the time period of June through August 1993 I visited with different organizations in the area: NDMDA (National Depression Manic Depression Association) now know as DBSA (Deppression Bipolar Support Association); NAMI DuPage; NAMI Kane County South; DBSA West; DBSA Fox Valley to list most of them. Our group decided to join what we know today as DBSA and we are the DBSA Aurora Chapter. I talked & visited with the staff of NAMI DuPage a few times in our earlier years but now we recieve & share most of the information via the newsletter & cia of E-mails like this one I'm answering tonight. After sixteen years of being the President; DBSA Contact & Group Leader I stepped down and I'm now a member, Official Resource Person, Member of the Board of directors & Budget Auditor. I probably wrote to much about our group but I wanted to explain how we started with you all and that most all the information from NAMI DuPage is shared with our members. For the group & me personally I Thank You for all the sharing about Mental Health over the years. Tom Johnson Former President, DBSA Contact & Group Leader DBSA Aurora Chapter sneezeercat@aol.com 630-653-3560 Current President & DBSA Contact Claudette Hockin hockmyer612@peoplepc.com 630-554-9823

19

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

NAMI of DuPage is an outstanding not-for- profit organization. Their committment to their mission...provide support, education and advocacy to individuls and families with mental illness is apparent in everything they do.

18

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found the Family to Family education class shortly after my son's initial episode as a senior in high school. The class enabled me to be an effective advocate for my son as well as give me the support and tools to cope with the drastic change in our lives. I've since become a Family to Family teacher (currently teaching my fifth class) because I've personally experienced and witnessed the life changing power of education and support. Lynn

21

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I stumbed over the group NAMI (at that time called AMI) over 20 years ago thru a newspaper announcement telling about a speaker to present on the subject mental illness. From there we were able to learn more about our son's illness, had support from other family members and learned to acccept the illness, get him the best help at that time; and then the stigma was lifted. We became very involved members, serving on committees, speaking in public, became board members and volunteered in many acitivities. NAMI is life saver in many ways.

9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

I think it is so important that we have committed advocates for the mentally ill in our county and around the country. I think we can best serve these clients when the advocates and professionals work toward a climate of trust and commitment to problem solving. Our clients will be best served if we can put our energies together with the common goal of the welfare of the clients. When we work in an adversarial mode, clients are not best served. For some, this adversarial positioning diverts client energy and focus away from their treatment goals and encourages resistance to recovery efforts.

13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with NAMI of Dupage County after I had a relaspe with my mental illness. They were very supportive. I joined their speaker's bureau and told my story to many people, police, churches, etc. I then started working there and soon later started my own company keeping NAMI as a client. They have been very instrumental in my recovery. The staff is great!

11

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Wow, NAMI DuPage is one of the first non-for-profit organizations that I've worked for. It is one of the Best! It has a beautiful office near downtown Wheaton, one of the most prominent cities in the county of DuPage. It is a very Christian organization and also helps not only the family of the mentally ill but also the consumers with the resale shop as a place of employment. We treat everyone in a professional manner and help others with a warm sense of belonging. The staff are well-trained and have long-term employment. I have known Mary Lou Lowry, the executive director for many years and she is like a mother to me. Her fundraising skills are outstanding and the organization skills are that of an angel. NAMI DuPage strives for growth and we have reached thousands of members in the last 25 years. The organization started around when I lived in Wheaton and the mental health movement was in gear. Our organization, SA, went right along with the NAMI beginnings and really was part of the grassroots of consumers versus family in the mental health arena. There was a separation of whether the family played a role in their mentally ill sons and daughters and if it was a hereditary illness. I was so glad to have something else to go to and read about and someone else to talk to about my thinking and the situation I was in. We had great fun with the parties, fundraisers, silent auctions, plays, etc. My deceased husband of the Year 2008 and I thank you. We all are grateful for this organization and applaud NAMI DuPage. I intend to continue my growth with them and hope they'll continue to be blessed.

13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization that gives support to family and friends of a mentally ill loved one. It offers support groups, education and many books, videos and various other information. I have a mentally ill loved one and NAMI was a life saver for me.

16

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Great organization that really cares for the relationship of financial needs to those who suffer or are hindered by mental issues. Much more is needed across the country, but NAMI does a great service here in our area of Illinois.