Frequently Asked Questions: NAMI/General Resources
- What does NAMI stand for and what is its mission?
- How can I become a NAMI member? What are the benefits of membership?
- I would like to receive a large quantity of NAMI brochures. How can I get those?
- Do you have information in Spanish?
- I recently moved. How do I go about changing my address? How do I delete my name from NAMI's mailing list?
- Does NAMI offer any scholarships for college?
- Does NAMI offer financial grants or have advice as to where to apply for them?
- What jobs or volunteer opportunities does NAMI have available?
- Where can I find statistics about the prevalence of mental illness?
1. What does NAMI stand for and what is your mission?
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raising awareness and building a community of hope for all of those in need.
NAMI State Organizations and NAMI Affiliates offer an array of support and education programs for families and individuals living with mental illness. For information about what is available in your community, contact your local Affiliate directly.
NAMI advocates for legal and societal changes, at every level of government, to ensure that all persons affected by mental illness receive the services that they need and deserve. Advocacy issues include money for additional research into mental illness, affordable health care, affordable housing, criminalization, employment discrimination, etc. NAMI recognizes that the key concepts of recovery, resiliency and support are essential to improving the wellness and quality of life of all persons affected by mental illness.
2. How can I become a NAMI member? What are the benefits of membership?
We would be pleased to welcome you to the NAMI member family!
One may now become a full NAMI member with a click of your mouse through our E-Join Program! The annual dues are $35/year. You may also join through contacting your NAMI State Organization or NAMI Affiliate. Local NAMI Affiliates occasionally also offer an open-door membership or reduced rate for those with financial need.
The benefits of full membership include our flagship magazine, the NAMI Advocate, discounts on resources in the NAMI store, discounts at NAMI’s Annual Convention, full access to all the information and features on the NAMI website, and more.
3. I would like to receive a large quantity of NAMI brochures. How can I get those?
A part of NAMI’s is mission to educate the public about mental illnesses. NAMI offers brochures and fact sheets on a variety of topics, including particular mental disorders, treatment approaches and commonly prescribed medications.
Large quantities of brochures should be ordered through our on-line NAMI store.
The NAMI Helpline provides a limited number of brochures and fact sheets at no charge. To keep costs down and to provide materials to the greatest number of people, it is necessary to limit the number of publications we provide. The HelpLine can be reached at 1 (800) 950-6264 between the hours of 10 a.m. & 6 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday.
4. Do you have information in Spanish? Do you have other cultural or international mental health resources?
One may speak to a Spanish-speaking staff member at the NAMI Information HelpLine, at 1(800) 950-6264, 10 a.m. & 6 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday.
NAMI’s Multicultural Action Center (MAC) has a variety of fact sheets in Spanish, along with other foreign language resources. We also have a dedicated Spanish website, NAMI en Español.
For information about Canadian resources, please contact the Canadian Mental Health Association online or call 1 (613) 745-7750. International information may be found through NAMI’s MAC Multicultural Coalition Partners or the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH).
5. I recently moved. How do I go about changing my address? How can I update my contact information or delete my name from NAMI's mailing list?
If you are a member and you know your username and password, you can log in to www.nami.org and make the changes easily on your own.
You may also send an email to email@example.com.
Finally, you can contact the NAMI HelpLine at 1 (800) 950-6264 between 10 a.m. & 6 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday. HelpLine representatives will be able to forward your new contact information to the appropriate department.
6. Does NAMI offer any scholarships for college?
As a non-profit organization, NAMI is not able to sponsor academic scholarships or fellowships. However, the following organizations may be able to assist you.
Heath Resource Center at the George Washington University - The Heath Center is a national clearinghouse for information on post-secondary education for individuals with disabilities. The Center’s website has information about financial aid, scholarships, and internships.
Lilly Reintegration Scholarship Award Amount: Varies Number of Awards: Varies Phone: (800) 809-8202 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Description: Eli Lilly and Company provides annual awards for young adults diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder who are enrolled in high school equivalency studies, a trade or vocational school or a two or four-year college or university. Applicants must be U.S citizens, currently receiving medical treatment for one of the above conditions and be actively involved in rehabilitative or reintegration efforts. An essay must be included with the application packet. ChairScholar Foundation Award Amount: $20,000 Number of Awards: Varies Description: The ChairScholars scholarship is available to high school seniors and college freshmen who are living with a profound physical challenge.
InCight Education Scholarship Award Amount: $500 to $2500 that is renewable for four years Number of Awards: Varies Description: INCIGHT Education Scholarships are offered to students who have a documented disability.
American Association on Health and Disability Scholarship Award Amount: $1000 Number of Awards: Varies
Description: The American Association on Health and Disability Scholarships are available for undergraduate and graduate students who have a documented disability and are pursuing a career in public health, disability studies, health promotion or a field related to disability and health.
Also helpful are databases that allow students create a personalized profile that can be matched against existing scholarships and updates users when new opportunities arise. A few of the many are listed below:
It is possible that your State NAMI Organization or local NAMI Affiliate may sponsor particular scholarships. Contact them directly for further information. Be sure to research local scholarship opportunities through your high school, library and community. Also, find out what scholarships are available at your college. Conduct an exhaustive search in many areas including, the financial aid office, your specific college if you’re attending a large university and within your major. Many colleges offer scholarships for those with disabilities. Contact your college and ask if mental illness is included before applying for the scholarship.
7. Does NAMI offer financial grants or have advice as to where to apply for them?
As a non-profit organization, NAMI is unable to sponsor grants; however, the Foundation Center may be of great assistance.
The Foundation Center is the nation's leading authority on philanthropy, connecting nonprofits and the grant makers supporting them to tools they can use and information they can trust. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. grant makers and their grants.
8. What jobs or volunteer opportunities does NAMI have available?
NAMI periodically recruits qualified candidates for various volunteer, intern, and staff positions. Click here if you wish to view the positions available with the national office of NAMI. Our jobs section also lists career opportunities at various NAMI State Organizations or NAMI Affiliates.
For those interested in volunteer opportunities in our national office, please review the job description for our NAMI HelpLine.
You may also benefit from contacting your NAMI State Organization or NAMI Affiliate for information about volunteer opportunities outside of the Washington, DC area.
9. Where can I find statistics about the prevalence of mental illness?