Deanna, a volunteer with the local NAMI chapter and Livingston, past president of the board of the local NAMI chapter and current board member, were on First Watch with Sheriff Mark Dannels to let the community know what NAMI is.

What is NAMI?

Deanna: NAMI stands for the National Alliance on Mental Illness and is the nation's largest grassroots mental Health Organization that's dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. In 1979 the organization was started by two moms who were sitting around a kitchen table providing mutual support as they both had children with mental health struggles. Today nami has grown to over 600 affiliates nationwide and 48 state organizations that are working to raise awareness and provide mutual support and mental health education to those of us who may be dealing with a diagnosis or symptoms of mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other conditions. NAMI also provides advocacy at the local, state, and national levels for better treatment and access to care. Our local affiliate has served the community since 1998. I'm a founder; we actually started as a support group back then, and then we started holding informational meetings and realizing there was a lot of interest in support and learning more about mental health from community members. We formed a chapter, we incorporated in 2003, and became A 501C3 in 2004. We offer a number of different programs and resources at no charge to the community. We are in the process of revitalizing some of our programs. We are really excited to share the news that we just opened a new Resource Center, and it's located at 4032 E La Linda way, the corner of la Linda way and Frontage Road. We're still getting settled in there, but we have a mental health library with over 1200 resources. It's a place where people can come together for support and information. Give us a call to come in and have coffee and chat and learn more. We always need volunteers. We do have a website it's, or they can call our affiliate number 520-459-3228.

NAMI has an event coming up.

Livingston: We have a fundraising event. NAMI is self-supporting, and we don't receive federal grants or government grants, or grants from philanthropic organizations. We basically raise our own money, and we have two major fundraisers. Many people are familiar many of the listeners are probably familiar with the bike ride that we do in October on the first Saturday of the month. We also have a fundraiser called the March for Mental Health on May 20th at the Discovery Gardens at the University of Arizona campus here in Sierra Vista, next to Cochise College. We want to try to bring community awareness to mental health issues. It's also going to be kind of a big party too. We'll have entertainment, we'll have food, we'll have raffles, and it'll be a lot of fun. Registration is free. Shortly we will have the ability to register online for that event. Join us on May 20th, and look forward to seeing everybody.

How can the community help NAMI?

Deanna: Become a member, and join NAMI; membership goes toward supporting the programs that we are able to offer to the communities that we serve. Join by either contacting our local office or going to our website or to, where there's the option to join; locate the local NAMI affiliate: NAMI southeastern Arizona, not to be confused with nami southern Arizona. We have a Resource Center and various projects for volunteers to assist; they can help with our outreach efforts, they can help lead support groups or teach mental health education programs. There's special training at no cost that's provided. We like to find out what people's interests are and how they would like to be involved. It's easy to find a niche. I wanted to also give credit to the legacy foundation of southeast Arizona, they are a philanthropic organization that has supported us along the way, and they helped make our new Resource Center possible.

NAMI Contact information:

Photo Credit Grady Butler, Canva
Photo Credit Grady Butler, Canva

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