The national organization, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), traces its beginning to 1979 when 254 people met in Madison, Wisconsin for the purpose of considering how they could help themselves and their mentally ill relatives. Today NAMI has over 1200 affiliates in all 50 states(20 in Alabama) as well as affiliates in other countries around the world, with membership of over 220,000.
NAMI is considered the nation's voice on mental illness. It does not provide services such as diagnosis or treatment. It does offer Support where consumers and family members can express concerns about the affects of mental illness to empathetic persons who have experienced some of the same frustrations in dealing with a mental illness. NAMI offers Education in various forms such as articles in newsletters, courses, brochures, special emphases such as Mental Illness Awareness Week, and an award winning national website that has enormous resources on every aspect of mental illness. NAMI offers Advocacy in supporting the rights of the mentally ill, in influencing the direction of research into brain disorders, and elimination of discrimination, bias, and stigma.
What we Know!
Mental illnesses are brain disorders that can be diagnosed and treated as successfully as many other physical illnesses (disorders). Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion, or economic level. In any given year, as many as 5 million American adults suffer from an acute episode of one of the five serious brain disorders: Major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, and panic disorders. And more than 3 million of America's children suffer from these disorders. If left untreated, these disorders disrupt a person abilities to think, feel, and relate to others. These illness are not necessarily caused by bad character, poor child rearing, or an individual's behavior.
What We Believe
NAMI Baldwin County believes that those who suffer from a mental illness (brain disorders) should have equal access to health care benefits to those who suffer from other body disorders (heart, lungs, etc.). We believe, and studies support, that brain disorders respond favorably to appropriate treatment approaches on an equal basis with other disorders.
How We Operate
NAMI Baldwin County operates under the non-profit (charitable) umbrella of the 501(C3) regulations and is incorporated under the Alabama Non Profit Corporation Act. We are governed by a set of bylaws which the membership approves. The bylaws provide for a Board of Directors, elected by the membership. The Board consists of current officers, immediate past president, and other members elected by the organization. This Board serves to provide direction and leadership to the organization. The President of the organization serves as chairperson of the Board, represents the organization and makes executive decisions subject to approval of the Board and membership. Our "fiscal" year runs from 1 October-30 September. Officers for the Year 2013 are as follows:
President James Hamilton Vice President & Treasurer Ginger MacMicking
Board Members: In addition to the elected officers, the following are at large members of the Board (2013-2014)
Catherine Pace Amie Millward Kristina Kapp
Vonnie Beall-Hamilton Bob Olbrich
Our Educational Meetings: See the schedule below.
Our Sources of Financial Support
NAMI Baldwin County is not a United Way Agency and receives no funding from United Way. We generate most of our funds through memberships. We also receive some funds in the form of grants from NAMI Alabama, and from private contributions from members and nonmembers. While, as a general rule, we do not solicit donations, we sincerely appreciate the generosity of those who support us both monetarily and/or by providing a service for a specific event or project (mental health fairs, displays, etc.).