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Why support NAMI Fort Wayne?

posted Jun 3, 2015, 6:42 AM by NAMI Fort Wayne Web Director
Reason #1  At State and National levels the government is often ill equipped to help families.  These families are struggling to find the appropriate help for their loved ones that are suffering from mental illness.  Below is an article detailing that point.

hhsThe Mental Illness Leadership Vacuum
(May 15, 2015) Almost all the people who are in charge of public mental health services have little medical expertise about individuals with serious mental illness. Thus it is not surprising that public mental illness treatment programs reflect this lack of expertise.

At the federal level you have the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the agency charged with reducing “the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on American’s communities.” Among the organization’s 574 employees there is not a single psychiatrist.

When SAMHSA needs a psychiatrist to represent them they often call upon a grantee whose understanding of serious mental illness is reflected by the belief that “the covert mission of the mental health system…is social control” and his description of schizophrenia as “a spiritual experience,” not a disease.

This lack of psychiatric leadership at the federal level is matched at the state level. At one time the position of state commissioner of mental health was filled by a psychiatrist in almost every state.

Currently this is true in only four states—New York, Maryland, Delaware and Louisiana. In the other 46 states there are 7 PhDs, 2 MSWs, 1 RN, 1 EdD, 1 MPA, 1 Lawyer, and 33 states in which the state commissioner of mental health is listed as having no advanced degree. This tells us everything we need to know about the sad state of psychiatric services for individuals with serious mental illness. There is a vacuum of professional leadership at all levels of government.

Reason #2  NAMI has been making the difference in families lives since 1979

Who We Are

"NAMI Fort Wayne" is the local affiliate of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans 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 association of hundreds of local affiliates, state organizations and thousands of volunteers who work in your community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need.

NAMI relies on gifts and contributions to support our important work.

What We Do

We educate. Offered in thousands of communities across America through our NAMI State Organizations and NAMI Affiliates, our education programs ensure hundreds of thousands of families, individuals and educators get the support and information they need.

We advocate. NAMI shapes the national public policy landscape for people with mental illness and their families and provides grassroots volunteer leaders with the tools, resources and skills necessary to save mental health in all states.

We listen. Our toll-free NAMI HelpLine allows us to respond personally to hundreds of thousands of requests each year, providing free referral, information and support—a much-needed lifeline for many.

We lead. Public awareness events and activities, including Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), NAMIWalks and other efforts, successfully combat stigma and encourage understanding. NAMI works with reporters on a daily basis to make sure our country understands how important mental health is.


Please become a member today.

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NAMI Fort Wayne


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