I've been to your offices, and I feel you have a professional atmosphere, which is important in working with the population you do. I also appreciate your work with veterans, and the support groups you hold.
NAMI Greater Seattle is an invaluable organization and often times one of the few places family members can turn to for assistance, resources and a sympathetic ear when someone they love has been affected by mental health issues. The organization can provide advice on navigating a very complex and at times overwhelming mental health system, resources for help, education, training and support groups. It also offers opportunities to get involved in the cause and help the millions of people, families and friends who are in some way touched by someone with a mental health disorder. It's a community-focused organization with smart, caring people doing good, life-saving work. If you're thinking about volunteering, the NAMIWalks event is coming up in October!
I came to NAMI after I dealt with my child's onset of mental illness. It was a harrowing experience during which I felt helpless and alone. When I found support through NAMI -- its FREE courses for family members, as well as support at the NAMI office -- it changed my life. I can't say enough about the caring and educated people I have met through this organization. I became a volunteer so that I could help others -- especially families with adolescents -- so they wouldn't have to go through what I did. Education is power -- and that's what NAMI does best!
My parents first learned about NAMI Greater Seattle in 2004 when I was diagnosed with a mental illness. They took a class that NAMI offers called Family-to-Family for family members of people living with a mental illness. Through taking the class, they learned many things which helped them understand what I was going through and helped them care for me effectively. I am thankful that NAMI Greater Seattle was there for my parents during that tough time because my mental illness was initially something that was completely foreign to us. Family-to-Family helped to educate my parents on how best to approach living with and caring for me.
In 2009, I started volunteering at the NAMI Greater Seattle office. One of NAMI Greater Seattle's services is giving information and referrals to people who call the phone line. I learned how to answer the phone line as best as I could and how to help people find the right information. Often people call who are looking for a support group or for resources for themselves or their loved ones. I am one of many volunteers at NAMI Greater Seattle who answers the phone line and I think we all find satisfaction in assisting people with their queries. We realize how important it is for people to get connected with the right information or resources.
Since the summer of 2011, I have been involved with NAMI in another capacity. In Our Own Voice (IOOV) is a program that NAMI offers which teaches individuals with mental illnesses how to tell their own personal story of having a mental illness and living in recovery. The program then puts those individuals in pairs and places them in front of various audiences in order to educate the audience about mental illnesses and to help reduce stigma. I took the training last summer and since I have presented about 20 times to mostly high school and university audiences. I have also presented for Family-to-Family classes. It has been a great experience for me personally because in telling my story and putting everything out there I feel empowered. I now feel less shame about having mental illness than I did before I began the IOOV program. And in talking to various audiences about my condition, I often help shed light on something that for many of those in the audiences, they had never encountered before. As their awareness of mental illnesses increases, so does their empathy and understanding for people who have mental illnesses. And maybe someday one of their friends or family members will be diagnosed with a mental illness. I think the IOOV program does wonders for both the presenters and the audience.
To sum up, my experience with NAMI Greater Seattle has been all positive. NAMI Greater Seattle does great things for the community and I have seen firsthand the positive effects that its services and programs can provide. Thank you NAMI Greater Seattle.
NAMI Greater Seattle has provided me with a place to meet other people who have the same mental illness as I do. It has been a place for me to meet friends and get the support I need to manage my mental Illness. For the last year I have also volunteered there, and that helped give me the experience and structure I needed in my life to get a job. Thank You NAMI Greater Seattle
NAMI Greater Seattle is a wonderful place! They offer so many support groups for both family members/friends of people who are mentally ill, as well groups for individuals who are mentally ill thmeselves. The staff and volunteers are always helpful when calling the resource line. I am so happy they are here!
When one of our family members first became ill with a mental illness, we had a hard time finding information and assistance - until we found NAMI Greater Seattle. Here we found the help and support we needed. The 12-week, free Family-to-Family educational course was transformational and a lifeline. We learned about the different mental illnesses, treatments, communication skills, empathy and more. Being with people dealing with similar circumstances, helped us to not feel so alone. In times of crisis, NAMI GS helped to connect us to the resources we needed. As my family member became more stable, I regained some of my energy and began to volunteer at NAMI GS. I now serve on their board.