By Maren Peterson, Executive Director:
Over recent years, our community has begun to recognize that mental health is a critical, basic-needs issue that is central to empowering individuals and families to survive and thrive in the Fox Valley.
Studies consistently have shown that treatment works and that recovery is possible, but how do we break down the stigma that keeps people from seeking help? How do we support our community members who are struggling? On a broader level, how do we ensure that mental health advocates have a place at the table for important community discussions? Those questions, among others, fall uniquely within NAMI Fox Valley’s area of service and expertise.
Last year, NAMI Fox Valley’s support, outreach, education, and advocacy programs directly touched over 13,000 participants and attendees in the Fox Valley and surrounding area. The following bullets set forth just a few highlights:
- We graduated 84 individuals from our signature, 12-week Family-to-Family education course and 21 individuals from our 10-week Peer-to-Peer course.
- We offered 27 support group meetings per month, including 324 unique community participants, most of whom attended multiple meetings.
- We provided 20 full days of school-based mental health and suicide prevention education to 2,209 students.
- We held 145 mental health outreach trainings and presentations attended by 8,982 community members.
- Our downtown office fielded 1,633 contacts from individuals seeking support or resource connection.
- We provided 132 hours of advocacy as a participant in Outagamie County’s Mental Health Court team.
- Over its first full fiscal year of operations (July 2015 through June 2016), our peer run respite center, Iris Place, welcomed 128 unique guests for 171 guest stays and provided 3,589 contacts via phone.
Looking ahead, we are excited for some significant new projects and collaborations that will enable us to reach and serve additional, particularly vulnerable constituencies. In the coming year, we are tremendously excited to fully roll out our new Latino mental health programming (in collaboration with Samaritan Counseling Center of the Fox Valley) and to work together with the Housing Partnership of the Fox Valley to launch a transitional housing program for young adults who live with mental illness.
We depend heavily on contributions from community members like you to support our programs. Can we count on you to include NAMI Fox Valley in your year-end giving? Please use the support tab for a one-time contribution or to become a Mental Health Sustainer. Know that whatever you are able to give is the right amount for you, and that every dollar will be valued and will remain in the Fox Valley.
Thank you for your support of NAMI Fox Valley as we work together with you to pursue our vision of a community, free of stigma, that supports and promotes mental health and recovery.