NAMI DuPage provides support, education, and advocacy in order to improve the lives of people living with mental illness and their families. NAMI DuPage typically provides free and low-cost services to between 15,000-20,000 people annually.
NAMI DuPage Programs:
Support and Resources. Many of their calls are from people who recently learned that they or a loved one have a mental illness. They help individuals and families by directing them to their resources as well as community resources that will provide the services they need as they face the difficult journey to recovery. They offer support groups for individuals, families, people who have co-occurring substance and mental illnesses, people who have suffered a loss to suicide, LGBTQ groups, and much more. Their programs are facilitated by “peers” or “recovery support specialists” who have lived experience with mental illness.
In addition to groups, they also have a Living Room, an alternative to ED, as well as individual 1:1 support services. Their peers also work with numerous local police departments, PADS, and area hospitals.
Their largest program is their Youth Program, serving over 14,000 students each year. The mental health programs aim to reduce stigma and provide information on symptoms of mental illness and resources for help. At least one of the presenters is a person living in recovery who shares their story. Through the years, hundreds of students have come forward after their presentation to disclose their own illness or suicidal ideation.
NAMI DuPage’s Community Education Program offers a wide array of classes for individuals, families, and the broader community. Some are geared toward developing personal skills while others, such as Mental Health First Aid, are national training programs for community members, teachers, etc. to help de-escalate crises or difficult situations when they occur.
They also offer a Supported Employment Program and a Recreation Program, both of which are geared to the specific needs of people living with mental illness. As part of the Supported Employment Program, NAMI DuPage operates an onsite print shop and a cafe.
Founded in 1985 by parents of adult children with mental illness, they are an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the largest grassroots mental health organization in the United States. All affiliates are legally and financially independent organizations with NAMI DuPage being one of the largest and most active affiliates in the country. Visit NAMI online today to learn more about their programs and services.
Geri Kerger, Executive Director
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