Please consider getting involved with NAMI Chicago. You can make a real contribution to our mission of providing resources and information on all facets of mental illness in the Chicago area. Volunteers will receive training for the area(s) in which they are interested.
*Note for individuals completing their CRSS credential: Volunteer hours at NAMI Chicago are not sufficient to fulfill the Certified Recovery Support Specialist (CRSS) requirements. For more information on CRSS requirements, click here.
We are currently looking for individuals interested in sharing their story in the community!
In order to break down the stigma and prejudice associated with mental illness it is important for people to meet individuals living with mental illness and their family members. Sharing your story about your personal experience with mental health challenges is a great way to encourage others to talk about what they’re experiencing. When more people share stories of recovery, struggle or hope, it lets all of us know that we’re not alone.
Share your personal story as a family member or individual living with mental illness through NAMI Chicago’s educational programs. Check out the following ways to get involved.
High Schools: Ending the Silence (ETS) is a 50-minute prevention and early intervention program that engages high school students in discussion about mental health. The presentation is structured to be delivered by a two-person team, one of whom is a young adult living in recovery (ideally 18-30 years old). The lead presenter is an adult who identifies as either a family member or person living in recovery.
Police Training: Panelists participate on a family or recovery focused panel to share their story with Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Police Officers who receive a 40-hour training on how to handle mental health emergencies.
Latino Outreach: Compartiendo Esperanza (Sharing Hope) is a Spanish language 90-minute presentation designed to create awareness in the Latino community about mental illness. Presenters with lived experience share their story and give an overview of mental health conditions, treatment and recovery. We are looking for bilingual individuals to present in English as well.
Faith-based Communities: Bridges of Hope is a presentation designed to educate clergy and their congregation about mental illness. This presentation is led by a mental health clinician.
We are also looking for assistance in the following areas.
Office Support: assist staff with a variety of office tasks including mailings, filing, and data entry. Office volunteers typically dedicate 2 days per month, generally from 10 am to 1 pm.
Support Group Facilitator: Family and recovery focused support groups are a caring group of individuals helping one another by utilizing their collective lived experiences and learned wisdom. We encourage those interested in potentially facilitating groups to attend regularly.
Advocate: An important part of our work at NAMI Chicago is the role we play as advocates for better quality mental health services, a more comprehensive system that is fully funded, and the support services needed to live in recovery. You can get involved by connecting with your legislators to share the impact of the budget cut impasse, advocate to protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and attend our NAMI Smarts for Advocacy workshops.
Thank you for your interest in getting involved!