Often, attention to mental health is given when something tragic happens that involves an individual who has a mental illness. However, it shouldn’t take an awful event for us to make supporting mental health a priority. The key is having mental health education and support available.
The National Alliance on Mental Health Chicago is one of the most active and biggest NAMI affiliates in the United States. They have dedicated volunteers weekly, graduate level interns and both full-time and part-time staff. Why is that so impressive? Because they offer family education programs and recovery-focused programs free of charge to individuals and families living with mental illness.
You can donate a car for mental health and support the NAMI Chicago through Donate-a-Car.
Established in 1979, the NAMI Chicago was first known as the Alliance for the Metnally Ill (AMI), and since then, they have changed and upgraded services depending on the needs in the community. Their mission is to increase hope and enhance the quality of life for anyone affected by mental illness.
Mental Health Helpline
The NAMI Chicago offers a helpline for support. This helpline benefits individuals, families, community members and professionals to help each of them understand and maneuver through the complexity of mental health.
Helpline: 833.NAMI.CHI (833-626-4244). Hours are: Monday through Friday 9AM to 5PM, Saturday 9AM to 1PM, closed on holidays.
Direct clinical services are not offered through NAMI Chicago but they carefully connect individuals who call in with the care they need through a network of community agencies and treatment providers. This way they help each caller find a solution that is best for their loved one or themselves.
Persons working through a mental health condition benefit greatly from the strength of support groups. NAMI Chicago offers several support groups that are peer-based and led by trained volunteers who have direct experience themselves or a family member with mental illness. No insurance is needed as all support groups are free with no set limit for how long a person must attend.
Support groups are provided in both Spanish and English and held at the NAMI Chicago office. For more information, visit their support groups page.
Creating awareness, educating and supporting their mission are also promoted through NAMI Chicago events. Events include:
- The Light The Darkness yearly gala and awards dinner where supporters, friends and health advocates are invited to gather to help light up the path to change.
- Free NAMIWalks Chicago, where anyone in the community can walk for donations that help benefit their loved ones through the mission of NAMI Chicago. Money raised helps fight negative stigma and bring awareness to mental health issues.
Road Map to Wellness
Working with their partners, NAMI Chicago has created a vision for a vibrant and healthy city called a Road map to Wellness. This report calls for city leaders to make mental health a priority by re-framing mental health care as primary health care and attaching it to other main issues like employment, housing and education.
Mental health is a need that should be brought to the forefront of our understanding and education. The more we know, the more support we can offer. This is why we have partnered with the NAMI Chicago in offering the service of car donations for mental health.