The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a grassroots foundation that provides education, support and advocacy for individuals suffering from mental illness. Currently NAMI receives all of its funding from foundations, the public and corporations. NAMI offers free support groups, programs, lectures, workshops, helpline, resources and opportunities to advocate for research and healthcare policy changes (NAMI, 2009).
NAMI assists family and individuals dealing with loved ones who are mentally ill. NAMI also advocates for policy changes in government that effect the stability and welfare of mentally ill persons. NAMI has successfully provided for educating families and helping to develop community awareness for mentally challenged individuals.
Currently, NAMI has been struggling within the shrinking economy and has begun cutting some of its programs because of lack of funding. NAMI provides invaluable free resources for families living with mental illness. The lack of funding is beginning to create service interruptions and delays in programs. For these reasons, I feel that NAMI deserves advocacy on a state level.
Specifically, as human service worker we should advocate for funding for NAMI since organizations such as NAMI help to ease the workload of human service workers. For example, NAMI teaches families and individuals about the importance of consistently receiving medication. Educating individuals about medication reduces the incidence of relapse which reduces the workload for human services.
The best form of advocacy would be in media advocacy. NAMI has almost no money for advertising because its budget does not allow for commercialization. Much of NAMI’s money is raised through events like walkathons but without advertising these events have fallen short in revenue goals. Asking local radio stations and news stations for assistance in this area would help to raise awareness and revenue.
NAMI (2009). National alliance on mental illness. Retrieved June 28, 2009, from National Alliance on Mental Illness