NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans and their families affected by mental illness.
What started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health. Today, we are an alliance of more than 600 local Affiliates and 48 State Organizations who work in your community to support, educate, advocate, and raise public awareness about mental health.
NAMI is dedicated to helping all people affected by mental illness. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 1 in 5 Americans experienced a mental health condition. But during a snapshot study conducted in the summer of 2020, the CDC found that more than 40% of people were experiencing some symptoms of a mental health condition. With isolation, fears about the virus, social injustice, economic uncertainty, and more, this comes as no surprise. At NAMI, we’ve seen the need increase firsthand, with upwards of a 65% increase in calls to our NAMI HelpLine. The need has always been great, but it couldn’t be greater now.
NAMI knows we need to reach people where they are. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, NAMI State Organizations and Affiliates across the country made a swift pivot from providing education courses and support groups in person to online versions. NAMI also provided a COVID-19 online mental health guide in both English and Spanish with resources that range from managing anxiety and social isolation to accessing health care and treatment. At the same time, NAMI doubled its efforts on its social media platforms, including creating a series of #NotAlone conversations between celebrities, influencers, young people, and NAMI experts that addressed how folks can cope during periods of isolation. Additionally, NAMI helped create PSAs with partners iHeartRadio and WarnerMedia to spread the message to all who need to hear it: You Are Not Alone.