Every year, the UWCFD spotlights a nonprofit organization doing amazing work to make our communities – locally, nationally and globally – healthier and more resilient.
We are excited to announce that the 2023 featured nonprofit is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Seattle. Through empowerment and encouragement, NAMI serves as a safe place for all who are impacted by mental illness, and lead individuals in living life to its fullest.
NAMI is a mental health organization that addresses gaps and unmet mental health needs within the local community of Seattle through education, support, referral, and outreach.
The largest grassroots mental health organization in the country, NAMI reminds those impacted by mental illness that they are not alone.
“NAMI Seattle is thrilled to partner with the University of Washington Combined Fund Drive to end the stigma of mental illness,” said Jeremiah Bainbridge, Development Manager at NAMI.
“The mental health needs in our community are greater than ever and your support provides invaluable services like support groups, education and skills classes, and anti-stigma presentations to ensure individuals and families affected by mental illness have hope and a supportive community.”
Jeremiah continued, “This work truly is life-saving and life-changing. With your support, we can end the stigma surrounding mental health and create a world where those affected by mental illness can live fulfilling and vibrant lives.”
NAMI Seattle hosts free peer-led support groups that are peer-led and are for both those struggling with mental conditions and their loved ones. These groups facilitate connections and uplift these individuals throughout challenging seasons of life.
Additionally, NAMI offers Family-to-Family, a free eight-session educational program that educates loved ones of those struggling with mental health conditions, as well as the Friends & Family Seminar, a free four-hour seminar that informs individuals on how to best support their loved ones throughout their struggles with mental illness.
In addition to providing support groups and educational programs, NAMI also hosts engaging events that advocate for mental health awareness all throughout Seattle. This May, they hosted their first Stigma Free Seattle event, a celebration of mental health and unity against mental health stigma through interactive activities, community art, and inspiring stories.
Each year, NAMI Seattle joins with other NAMI alliances for NAMIWalks, a 5k event that celebrates recovery, combats stigma, raises funds, and promotes awareness for mental illness.
The UWCFD looks forward to bridging a connection between the UW community and NAMI Seattle through shining a light on areas where help is most needed. Here are some ways to get involved:
Become a member: Join NAMI Seattle as a member and become one of thousands advocating for services, support, and respect to the millions struggling with mental health conditions. Membership helps make the voices of NAMI Seattle heard in important conversations regarding mental health support nationwide.
Volunteer: Make a difference by giving time and talent to NAMI Seattle through volunteer opportunities.
Advocate: Become a change-leader in your community by advocating for areas of improvement within the mental health and behavioral care systems.
Donate: Support NAMI Seattle’s mental health programs through a one-time gift or payroll deduction through the UWCFD (charity code 0320832). Your generous gifts allow participants to join programs at no cost, keeping mental health support accessible to all.
Prefer to support the work of NAMI in your area? NAMI has UWCFD-member organizations in Whatcom County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Thurston County, Yakima, the Tri-Cities and a statewide office.
The 2023 UWCFD campaign kicks off October 11, 2023. Discover ways to get involved here!
Past UWCFD featured nonprofits include Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Low Income Housing Institute, Northwest Harvest, Summit Assistance Dogs and Be The Match. Each organization has enjoyed increased visibility as a result of being featured, as well as a boost in one-time and annual donations from UW employees.
Contributed by Melanie Kuo, marketing and graphic design intern for UWHR Employee Experience. Melanie is a senior at UW majoring in Informatics with a focus on Human-Computer Interaction. She loves creating and sharing stories through graphic and UX (user experience) design, written content and other media.