Happy Holidays from NAMI DuPage

Dear friends,

In my seven months as Executive Director of NAMI DuPage, hardly a day has passed that I am not asked “What does NAMI DuPage do?”

Initially, I would talk about the phenomenal numbers. More than 18,000 students in DuPage schools participated in our “Ending the Silence” program which provides students an opportunity to learn about mental illness and resources available. Sometimes, I would talk about our model programs such as the Living Room, which is a free alternative to the emergency room and provides an assessment by a licensed clinician, followed by a session with our peer counselor in a comfortable, non-clinical space.

But now, I also talk about the impact your investment in NAMI DuPage has made in the lives of the people we serve.

  • It’s not just that we brought mental health education to 18,000 students, but it’s also about the student who came home after our presentation and told his mother he was having thoughts of harming himself. Mom called us, removed weapons from the home, and the son is now receiving medical treatment.
  • Nor is it that our Supported Employment Program has placed over 80 people in jobs, but that some people who have never before been employed, have developed the skills and confidence necessary for employment.
  • And while 20,000 people were served through education, support, and community outreach programs, the true impact is that lives were improved because we trained police in crisis intervention, and that families with children living with mental illness now have the skills, resources, and support necessary to improve the life of their child and strengthen their family.

Your support makes everything we do possible. With a budget of $1 million and no contracts or state or federal government funding, we must raise nearly the entire amount from individuals, foundations and corporations.

Our BOARD has generously offered to match up to $10,000 of money generated through the end of the year. That means a gift of $100 is now worth $200 and a gift of $1,000 provides $2,000 to NAMI DuPage. Please give generously.

Wishing you a warm holiday season,

Geri Kerger
Executive Director