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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Developmentally Disabled Centers, Disabilities, Human Services

Mission: NAMI Western Carolina is an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. We recognize that the key concepts of recovery, resiliency, and support are essential to improving the wellness and quality of life of all persons affected by mental illness. Mental illnesses should not be an obstacle to a full, meaningful life. The purposes of the affiliate are to (1) provide support to family members and peers, (2) serve as a center for the collection and dissemination of information about mental illness, (3) foster public education, (4) develop coping skills for families and consumers, (5) advocate, and (6) aid community support services.

Target demographics: individuals and families affected by mental illness.

Geographic areas served: Buncombe, Madison, Mitchell, and Yancy counties

Programs: Connection groups for those with a mental health and/or substance use issue. Family/Caregiver groups for anyone supporting a person living with a mental health issue.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 4

It started with

attending a local NAMI support group

with the push of my parents. I met a

couple there who had a son in the

hospital and I couldn't resist trying to

help them. Our families connected

and bonded and it felt great to

support someone who had been

through a similar situation as myself

only a bit ago. I have always had a

natural ability to connect with peers

and empathize with people, so earlier

this year it felt only natural to become

a Peer Support Specialist. NAMI

Western Carolina’s peer-run office

seemed to be a perfect fit because it

provided me an opportunity to lend

my abilities to a cause that was

beyond myself and to the betterment

of people with mental and emotional

challenges. Claire and Galen have

been very helpful and a pleasure to

work with along with Eduardo,

Charlie, Todd, Trey, and others. Since

I started in April, I volunteer nine

hours a week on Monday, Tuesday,

and Thursday afternoons. My

contributions to our office include

cleaning out a couple of underused

rooms, contacting other NAMI offices

around the country in hopes of

adopting similar systems such as an

internship program, and making

connections with Mission Hospital.

My recovery and my work here at

NAMI Western Carolina inspire me to

continue in this direction and further

my education to work in the mental

health field.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My curiosity led me to volunteering
with NAMI Western Carolina. I
happened to wander into the office
when they were having a volunteer
orientation (with ice cream!) and was
accepted into the fold. I started
volunteering in the office at the
beginning of June. I had recently
overcome some struggles with mental
health issues and NAMI provided the
perfect opportunity for me to give to
the community while transitioning
back into the life of a student at
UNCA. NAMI has kept me anchored
into the health community of
Asheville and I'm open to making
bridges between NAMI and the UNCA
campus. I try to put in time when I can now that the semester's begun, and NAMI has remained amenable to giving me completely flexible hours and time off when I need it, while still giving me things to do as a volunteer. I've
done everything from archiving to
spray-painting a bookshelf to helping
establish NAMI’s online activities. NAMA really is one of the 'good' ones--when not guiding a project, or directly providing support groups and giving aid to all who walk into the office, NAMI is coordinating throughout the mental health community through both internet and phone.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

NAMI was there when we needed it when our loved one experienced a psychotic break. A friend who was a school counselor recommended NAMI. By attending NAMI meetings and support groups we obtained valuable, timely information and advice. NAMI was our haven, a place were everyone knew how we felt and what you were going through. Participating in NAMI's Family education program called Family- to -Family we were given additional information that helped us better understand what our loved one was experiencing, the nature of treatment options, how to maneuver the healthcare system and how we can take care of ourselves as care givers. With NAMI's help we were able to lessen the number of times that inadvertently and lovingly threw road blocks in front of our loved one on their road to recovery. Our loved one lives in recovery.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

NAMI WC offers the understanding that only those with the lived experience of mental illness can provide. The volunteers at NAMI provide so much for the Asheville community-Support, Education, Awareness, Advocacy & Research. So many give so much to this grassroots organization.

NAMI WC offers Connection Support Groups for those with a mental health issues, Family/Caregiver groups for anyone supporting a person living with a mental health issue, the Family-To-Family educational program, Quartery Potluck Dinner for fellowship & support and much more!

The Peer Run office offers support in so many areas. The library is one of my favorite resources there. And the staff is knowledgeable & helpful.