Mental Health

NAMI Seattle

National Alliance on Mental Illness, also known as NAMI, was originally established in 1978 and now is the largest grassroots mental health organization in the nation. Nami Seattle is the only organization in the Seattle area that is working to fill the gaps in the local mental health system through peer-led education, referrals, and support. Ranging from support groups to classes to presentations, NAMI finds a way to address unmet mental health needs in the community.

Presentations and support groups

Ending the Silence is a presentation that is shown to be effective in changing students’ knowledge and attitude toward mental health conditions and towards seeking help. The presenter is a young adult who has a mental health condition who shares their own journey of recovery. This presentation is specifically designed for middle schoolers, high schoolers, parents/caregivers, and teachers, but if needed they are able to change their presentation for a different audience if they feel it can fit their needs. On top of Ending the Silence, they have classes for families and friends who have loved ones who are mentally ill along with seminars, and classes for adults and young adults who are mentally ill. Community events are something to look forward to as well. NAMI has support groups on specific days such as a LGBTQ+ support group and a black, indigenous and people of color support group.

Available resources 

Although the support groups and presentations are significant, what I find to be the most important thing is that they provide you with resources to multiple different helplines such as the suicide hotline and the 24-hour crisis clinic. They also provide you with resources to help you find an affordable therapist in your area.

What I would like to know  

When going through their website I was noticing at least one flaw, which was that they didn’t state a minimum age for their classes. For their Ending the Silence presentation, they mentioned it was for middle schoolers and up, but they could easily change it for other audiences, but it would be good to know if the other classes and support groups are accessible for children.

Personal Stories

People post their own personal stories on the websites blog and one caught my eye. A 14 year old who is suffering from an anxiety disorder. They started experiencing it not knowing anything about it, and soon after the first two panic attacks, started seeing a therapist. They said that therapy has helped a great amount.

Another great story is from one of the board members, Elliot. He suffers from schizophrenia, and with the support from NAMI he his able to manage his condition. He attends support groups provided by NAMI and has met people who he can relate to that he can socialize with. He encourages people to take a step and contact NAMI for support.      

Similar Organizations

There are other great nonprofit organizations that are similar to NAMI. One is The Healing Center. They also do magnificent work for children in need of extra support with their mental health. Art with heart is another nonprofit organization that helps the youth with their mental health. Their goal is to help children overcome trauma through creative expression. They supply the creative tools, resources, and support that children need.

Resources

 

 

Nami Seattle | National Alliance on Mental Illness. (n.d.). Retrieved November 3, 2021, from https://namiseattle.org/.