During the month of January, we are proud to be partnering with The National Alliance on Mental Illness Southwest Washington (NAMI SW WA) an affiliate of the national organization NAMI. NAMI’s history began in the mid-1970s, when small groups of family members, nationwide, gathered at kitchen tables to support one another and to understand their mentally ill family member, most commonly a son. The mothers were being blamed by the medical profession that their parenting skills caused their child’s schizophrenia or other mental health disorder. The same family groups began in Clark County and Cowlitz County in 1977 and 1978 respectively. Soon thereafter, support groups for their loved ones struggling with mental health disorders began meeting. In 2013, NAMI SW WA was formed by merging NAMI Cowlitz with NAMI Clark and adding Skamania County to the service area. NAMI SW WA is a leading voice for those struggling from mental health disorders and their family members, friends, or co-workers by providing services, education, support, and advocacy.
NAMI SW WA services:
New in 2016: NAMI SW WA became a Behavioral Health Services organization licensed by the Washington State Department of Health and Social Services to provide mental health counseling and peer support services to Medicaid insured consumers in Clark and Cowlitz counties.
NAMI Signature education classes: Family to Family for family members and other loved ones • Homefront for family members of veterans and active service personnel • Basics for families newly experiencing a mental health diagnosis with a child • Parents and Teachers as Allies for teachers and school personnel to learn how to make a lasting difference in the lives of their students • Ending the Silence presented by one trained youth and one trained parent to middle and high schoolers about what the reality is like living with a mental illness and • Peer to Peer for adults with mental health disorders who are looking to better understand their condition and journey toward recovery.
NAMI Signature peer-led support groups: Connection Recovery Support Group is designed for individuals living with mental health disorders and Family Support Group is designed for their family members and loved ones. Both offer facilitation by trained peers and participants meet others who have experienced the same or similar issues.
NAMI SW WA Programs: STRivE First Steps is part one of our recovery education courses. SEE ME is our community education progam that we take to first responders, neighborhood associations, nonprofit, profit, and public employers groups to reduce the stigma of mental illness. The participants hear individual stories of recovery while a family member talks about what their experiences were while trying to help their loved one.
Advocacy: We advocate for those who need our help with legal, social, and emotional needs. We also advocate at the local and state level to change policy and legislation that improve access to mental health services.
Through financial gifts and dedicated volunteers, NAMI SW WA is able to provide its services at no charge to those accessing them.
Davidson and Associates Insurance is honored to be partnering with an organization that promotes acceptance and understanding of those suffering from mental illness. The support that NAMI SW WA has provided to countless individuals and families in our community is inspiring. Thank you, NAMI SW WA, for serving the members of the Clark, Cowlitz and Skamania counties in Washington State for 30+ years. To learn more about this incredible organization, click here.