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2017 Report to Our Community

NAMI Pierce County is an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).  Our members are individuals living with mental illness, their loved ones, or others with an interest in the issues related to mental illness.  We are a largely volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.  The NAMI Pierce County’s mission is to provide advocacy, education, support, and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives.

2017 was a year of major accomplishments. It was also a year where we became rigorously mindful about what we chose to do and not to do.  And we also came face to face with some of the challenges faced by many small, volunteer driven, non-profits.

Our 2018 challenge will be to continue the momentum of what is working well while addressing the sustainability issues of volunteer engagement, revenue growth and leadership development.

We Deliver Help and Hope through Our NAMI Signature Programs

  • Our twice monthly Tacoma NAMI Family Support Group provided critical support to 180 duplicated and unduplicated people.
  • 630 duplicated and unduplicated individuals attended our weekly Tacoma and Puyallup NAMI Connection Recovery Support Groups.
  • 35 individuals graduated from our two Tacoma NAMI Family-to-Family classes.
  • NAMI Pierce County is involved in piloting the new NAMI Family and Friends 4 hour seminar.  This seminar could enable affiliates to more quickly help families in crisis and to more quickly engage potential members.
  • We value the trained volunteers delivering our programs
    • We increased our number of trained NAMI Family-to-Family teachers and should be able to sustain two classes per year.
    • Most of our NAMI Family-to-Family teachers completed NAMI Family & Friends seminar teacher training.
    • Two newly trained NAMI Connection Recovery Group facilitators will help sustain our two weekly support groups.

We Are Effective Grassroots Advocates for Better Mental Health Care in Washington

  • 2017 NAMI Washington Lobby Day in Olympia was a great success.  The 14 NAMI Pierce County members and 42 UW-Tacoma and Pierce College students participating represented 25% of all NAMI’s grassroots advocates.
  • Legislation was signed into law that grew out of our 2015 candidates’ forum.   This change brings Washington HIPAA law into alignment with Federal law and should help family members better care for their loved ones.
  • Department of Behavioral Health and Recovery Assistant Secretary Carla Reyes discussed Western State Hospital, crisis care, Medicare integration, and other behavioral health care issues with our members at a monthly Gathering.

We Raise Community Awareness about Mental Health Topics and NAMI

  • Our website, Facebook page, and electronic newsletter are greatly improved.
  • We rekindled our NAMI In Our Own Voice Presentation Program.
  • We educated our community with information tables at the Tacoma Ethnic Fest, the NAACP Health Fair, Clover Park Technical College, the University of Puget Sound, Optum Pierce BHO’s “May is Mental Health Care Month Celebration,” and Tacoma’s Martin Luther King celebration.
  • Our members told their personal stories and talked about NAMI and its programs at the Tacoma Police Department CIT classes.  These stories of hope and recovery put a personal face on mental illness for 80 law enforcement officers.
  • We presented information about NAMI Washington affiliates and NAMI signature programs at several Western State Hospital Family Education events.
  • Our open-to-all monthly Gathering discussion topics included: the Pierce County ACH, WRAP training, South Sound 211’s mental health data base, Certified Peer Specialist program, the ins and outs of applying for SSI & SSDI, and Joel’s Law.

We Continue to Focus on Governance and Organizational Health

  • NAMI Pierce County was the first Washington NAMI affiliate to successfully complete the NAMI recertification process.
  • We hired our first employee to augment and amplify our volunteers’ efforts.  Bre Johnson hit the ground running as our part-time Program Manager.
  • The NAMI Rainer Foothills affiliate was created in the Buckley – Enumclaw area.  We welcome them and look forward to a continued close collaboration.

Our Members and Volunteers Are Our Heart and Soul

They Define Who We Are, Why We Exist, & Do Much of Our Work

  • Current membership trended slowly up and includes more than 70 individuals or households.
  • Most members volunteered for at least one NAMI Pierce County activity.
  • A smaller core group provided vast majority of our volunteer hours.
  • The current core volunteer group is shirking and will shrink more.

We Are Financially Healthy

  • Our balance sheet is healthy.
  • Once again, our past fiscal year income exceeded our expenses.
  • 2017 NAMIWalks was a financial and participation success.

Our deepest thanks to those who invested their time on behalf of NAMI Pierce County in 2017,

Ginny Peterson Bob Winslow

NAMI Pierce County Co-President NAMI Pierce County Co-President

December 20, 2017