COVID-19 Update from Geri Kerger, Executive Director

CLICK HERE to view an Overview of our current Services (PDF)


Dear Friends,

As we navigate these uncharted waters, I would like to discuss what we have been doing for our clients and the community, what you can do to help us, and how we can all work together to stay healthy during these unsettling times. In response to Gov. Pritzker’s order, the Living Room will be the only NAMI DuPage program which will operate onsite. Its hours will remain 3-8 p.m. Monday-Friday.

You are still able to leave messages on our phones or email us and we will be in contact with you. Although we are working remotely, our staff has access to email and phone messages, and much of our day-to day work involves using “cloud-based systems” which can also be accessed remotely.

We have updated our website to include changes in programs and will continue to do so as the situation warrants.

At this time, we are especially concerned with the needs of our support group participants as well as the needs of the broader community. The following is a brief update on our actions in this regard:

During the past week, we have established video conferencing for all of our support groups, beginning March 23, 2020. You must still register to be part of the group. Click HERE for more information.

Last week, we reached out to NAMI Illinois to assist other NAMI affiliates in meeting the needs of their clients through videoconferencing. We have offered area NAMI affiliates an opportunity to join our groups as availability allows or advise them as to the transition process from in-person groups to virtual communication. We will be working with NAMI Illinois on this process. Our staff and volunteers have spent hundreds of hours on implementing videoconferencing and training our peers and facilitators to use it. And although we are all extremely busy, we want to help smaller affiliates who have the same needs, but lack the capacity to move as quickly to online services.

Our Print Shop will remain open with reduced hours to meet the printing needs of essential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, etc. Please contact e.coronel@namidupage.org for more information.

For those seeking education information and/or information about NAMI classes, please contact a.burris@namidupage.org. Audrey will be able to advise you on online options, etc.

For those with questions on support/resources, please contact Patty at p.johnstone@namidupage.org. For other program questions, please contact Meredith at m.kober@namidupage.org.

Stay engaged with NAMI DuPage through our Facebook page and website. We are posting updates on both, but our Facebook page also shares information from NAMI’s national offices and other sources who provide valuable mental health resources and information. It also includes information on activities to sustain our physical and mental health, which is so important!

Many of you have reached out, asking what you can do for us. There are three important actions which you could take to help NAMI DuPage now::

Pass the word that our services are still continuing! Support groups will start up beginning tomorrow! The Living Room is open. The Print Shop can still assist necessary businesses with their printing needs. Staff is still available to answer questions or address concerns, etc.

Contact your legislators to ask for financial support for nonprofits, and expansion of care for those with mental health needs. Tell them that you want “telehealth services” included in all plans so that people with mental health issues will have better access to psychiatrists and therapists. Additionally, ask your legislators to launch a special enrollment period for the uninsured to acquire insurance (both public and private) which will enable people (many with mental illness) to receive medical care. As you can tell from this email, NAMI DuPage has incurred additional expenses necessary to provide its valuable services. Despite serving 35,000 people annually, we receive no ongoing federal or state grants/contracts. Please let your legislators know that NAMI DuPage needs their support.

Please donate so that we can continue helping our clients and our community. Private donors, foundations, and corporations have been the backbone of NAMI DuPage for the past 35 years. We are grateful for your partnership and investment in NAMI DuPage.

THANK YOU AND STAY WELL!

Geri Kerger
Executive Director
g.kerger@namidupage.org
630-291-4321