Mission: The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Minnesota is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of adults and children with mental illness and their families. NAMI Minnesota offers education, support and advocacy. NAMI Minnesota vigorously promotes the development of community mental health programs and services, improved access to services, increased opportunities for recovery, reduced stigma and discrimination, and increased public understanding of mental illness.
Programs: Education and support:nami minnesota offered 78 classes to people with mental illnesses and their families in 15 out of the 16 regions in the state reaching close to 1000 people. Evaluations for the classes consistently demonstrate that over 90% of the attendees found the classes increased their knowledge, feeling of connectedness to others and thaty they feel better able to advocate for their loved one. Focusing on early intervention nami minnesota has parterned with the first episode program at the u of mn and blue cross blue shield and recently published a booklet for youth and families experiencing a first psychotic episode. Nami minnesota offers 72 ongoing peer-to-peer support groups statewide. These groups offer support to people wtih mental illnessses, family members, parents of children, spouses/partners, adult sons and daughters, young adults with a mental illness, and people who identify as lgbtq. Kidshops is offered to children who have a parent or sibling with a mental illness. There are two online classes for professionals that are offered along with the required training for teachers, corporate foster care, and people who work with older adults. Nami also provides suicide prevention classes, and youth and adult mental health first aid. A total of 125 classes were taught to 3000 people.
information, advocacy and membership: the help line responded to nearly 4,400 phone calls and e-mails providing advice and support as people navigate the mental health system or face discrimination. This year nami conducted 30 focus groups across the state, including to culturally diverse populations to provide input into the development of behavioral health homes. Focusing on early intervention, nami has a project in dakota county to help parents who are concerned about their children but who have not yet entered the mental health system. We have also partnered with the first episode program at the university of minnesota fairview and blue cross blue shield to support parents who have a youth experiencing a first psychotic episode. A booklet was published this last year and will soon be posted on the website for the national institute of mental health due to its high quality and sage advice. Nami also has a mnsure grant where we teach people about health insurance and have trained navigators to help people obtain insurance.
public awareness and public policy:changing attitudes is hard work. This year staff and volunteers conducted 387 presentations to over 10,600 people at workplaces, community settings and major conferences. These presentations included in our own voice, understanding stigma, mental illnesses in the workplace and mental illness 101. Nami had booths at over 111 events, including the minnesota state fair. Nami is the state's outreach partner for the national institute of mental health which provides us with an opportunity to distribute their materials and promote research, further broadening the impact we have as an agency. Nami is working in st. Louis park for a first of a kind effort to dramatically change how an entire city views and treats people with mental illnesses. Nami minnesota continues to be a leader in ensuring that policy makers and elected officials understand the needs of children and adults with mental illnesses and their families and how to meet them. Nami staff and volunteers served on over 40 advisory committees and task forces and played a lead role in securing the largest increase in new money for the mental health system in our state's history. The helpline responded to over 4400 calls. Nami also hosts an annual research dinner, state conference and conference on postpartum depression.
i started with NAMI as participant in their support groups and eventually became a volunteer and an afiliate board member. NAMI has helped me to become less judgemental of my own mental illness and also more understanding of others i have since joining NAMI "come out of the closet" and let the whole world know I have a mental illness but I am ok. NAMI makes stigma go away for me and for that I am forever grateful to them. Karrie
Professional with expertise in this field,06/12/2011
Nami has visited mt hospital with their In Our Own Voice presentation and it was absolutely wonderful. Employees from all over the hospital attended to learn more about mental illness to decrease stigma in our institution. Also patients were able to come and see people in recovery and it instilled a lot of hope. I am so grateful for their website as well which also leads me to great information, legislative issues and documentaries. They are the best!
Without NAMI-MN many families would remain confused and frustrated over the problems that they face when a family member is stricken with mental illness. NAMI provides much needed education and support without charge to help families cope and regain their dignity and teaches them how to support their loved ones. Their is hope and help available to all who will reach out. NAMI offers the help and encouragement needed to learn to cope and understand this devasting illness.