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 have been a member of and volunteer for NAMI for over 15 years. I have family members with mental illnesses. Full disclosure, my spouse works for NAMI. I have witnessed on may occasions the appreciation shown to NAMI by families and people needing education, support, and advocacy as they face mental illness. People all over Minnesota depend on NAMI MN to offer classes, support groups, information, and advocacy at all levels of government, Federal, State, County and Local. I have traveled around the state and I met hundreds of people who all support NAMI and the work they do. I have spoken to psychiatrists, psychologists, family members, people with mental illness, and people who work in the field and NAMI sets a high standard of excellence. If you could see the thousands of people at the NAMI walk there to support people who are living with mental illness and those who have died you would understand why NAMI is so important.
Professional with expertise in this field
NAMI MInnesota is dedicated to advocating for the needs of people living with mental illnesses at the capitol in the form of driving legislation and budgeting, to educating families, providers like teachers, mental health professionals, correctional and nursing home staff, and loved ones through its many classes and programs, and to supporting people and families of those living with mental illnesses through many support groups throughout the state. Its staff is compassionate, resourceful and professional.
I was introduced to NAMI Minnesota from a friend who used their support and education tools when her son was experiencing a mental health crisis. Participating on this year's Day on the Hill, I realize just how much advocacy NAMI Minnesota does for those who don't have a voice.
I am deeply grateful to NAMI Minnesota for their guidance and support in working with members of my family including living in Connecticut. As a result, my sister-in-law and her husband are able to connect with NAMI Connecticut Family to Family support with their daughter who is suffering from OCD, eating disorder, and more.
I am also appreciative of being on the NAMI Legislative Committee to be able to work on a legislative agenda that supports children and their families through a variety of initiatives such as Schoo-linked mental health, First Episode, children's residential treatment and more supports for our children and youth. I have learned how to advocate and work with my own legislators to seek support for profound and critical community-based support services.
Furthermore, NAMI Minnesota has been instrumental in providing information and access to treatment so that I would understand how to navigate medical systems to get support to my brother who is a suicide survivor. Without this knowledge, we were struggling with what to do and how to get my brother help in another state. Thank you NAMI Minnesota for your advocacy, research, and support for persons with mental illnesses and their families!!!
NAMI-MN does a great job of advocating for people with mental illness in Minnesota. They have helped the Saint Paul Police Department become leaders in de-escalation techniques, which is greatly beneficial to people with mental illness. Also, their Family-to-Family classes are life-changing. They help families of people with mental illness to cope with the diagnosis and they give them specific coping tools.
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
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.