I am both honored and privileged to be writing to you as the new Executive Director of NAMI DuPage. I first learned about NAMI DuPage 20 years ago when I met several members working feverishly to establish a mental health court in our county. As the years passed, I had friends who spoke glowingly of the support they had received from NAMI DuPage, and others whom I referred to NAMI DuPage because I knew it was a compassionate resource for those living with mental illness and their families.
What I didn’t know, however, was how much NAMI DuPage has grown from those early days! During the last year:
- More than 18,000 students/staff participated in a NAMI program in DuPage schools.
- Over 20,000 people received services in support groups, community education, recreation or other programs and services.
- And in the last two years, 70 people with mental illness have become employed through our new Supported Employment Program!
As numbers grow, so does the need. An estimated 1 in 5 people experience a mental illness, but only about half receive treatment. NAMI DuPage can do more, but only with your help.
As we move forward, I invite you to Renew Your Passion for NAMI DuPage. With a budget of over a million dollars, and no state or federal funding, your financial support is truly what keeps our doors open. All of our programs are provided at no-cost or low-cost, so your generosity will be especially felt by those most in need of services.
I wish you could hear the stories of those whose lives have been improved by working with NAMI DuPage. Every day, I meet individuals and family members who have experienced unimaginable challenges and sadness. But fortunately, because NAMI DuPage has offered support and resources that have helped them navigate the journey of mental illness, they experience far better outcomes.
Whether it is the young woman whose mental illness made it difficult for her to get out of bed in the morning and who now looks forward to beginning work at 8 a.m. in our café; or the parent of two children living with mental illness who organizes support groups and educational classes, or the retired teacher who generously offers financial support to NAMI DuPage because she understands the value of our services to families—-I am inspired and grateful for all of them and for all of you who comprise the NAMI DuPage family.
When you partner with us by giving $25, $100, $1000 or more, you demonstrate your commitment to improving the quality of life for those living with, or supporting a love one with, mental illness and to the unique and vital role NAMI DuPage plays in that effort. Be assured, every dollar makes an impact.