Anne Slease, Director of Advocacy and Education discussed NAMI Delaware. Founded 39 years ago as the National Alliance on Mental Health by concerned parents seeking resources for their children, NAMI Delaware has grown to be a major force for mental health concerns, focused on prevention and support education and policy changes to help Delawareans BEFORE they experience the impacts of unaddressed mental illness such as Anne’s our family did.
We discussed mental illness; it’s more common than you’d think, and it ranges in severity, however, if your moods or thoughts are affecting your enjoyment of life and your family, work and social life, you should reach out. Reach out, too, if you arw concerned for a friend or family member, there is no harm in calling.
While the pandemic had forced programing to go remote, it did stimulate conversation and discussion about mental health in the community and created new opportunities to access support. Programs include support groups for peers and family members, Sharing Hope Community Conversations for communities of color and discussion groups for LGBTQ and young adults. They offer customized presentations on Mental Health Awareness, Self-Care, & new Compartiendo Esperanza in Delaware, a bilingual presentation for Latinx communities, too. Because mental health issues most often begin before the age of 14, NAMI has programs for educators, parents and students, most peer based, such as their signature programs In Our Own Voice and Family & Friends.
NAMI Delaware and the National organization offer programming for law enforcement and other special populations, including first-responders, medical professionals and emergency room staff and certificate trainings like MHFA, YMHFA and QPR. They also offer support to the officers, responders and medical teams who are also facing burn-out and job stress.
NAMI Delaware is looking for volunteers, not just those with a ‘lived experience,’ volunteers can help with housing clean up events, fundraising events, office work or by leading a walk team at their annual Walk – save the date for May 7, 2022!
NAMI offers referrals and resources, if you have questions, they have professional staff to help you. Learn more at namidelaware.org