Why We Were Grateful in 2018

How grateful are we? Let us count the ways.

  1. We had nearly 2000 participants at this year’s NAMIWalks, AKA the Los Angeles Make Waves in Mental Health fundraising walk, and we raised almost $500,000 for our programs! Nationwide, NAMI has raised $11.8 million. #KeepOnWalkin!
  2. There’s more state support for mental illness: California’s Prop 2 passed, with voters electing to fund housing for individuals with mental illness. Funds are expected to pay for 20,000 permanent supportive housing units with the No Place Like Home state program.
  3. More public figures and influencers are helping spread the word about the importance of mental health, including Lady Gaga (Depression), Demi Lovato (Bipolar Disorder) and LA Rams player — and NAMI ambassador — Gerald Everett.
  4. We provided support, strength and hope to more than 300 family members who attended our Family-to-Family classes and support groups this year. Special shout-out to our Co-President, Sharon Dunas, who taught two “F2F “classes this year, while also welcoming her first grandchild!
  5. There’s more federal support for mental illness: The U.S. Health & Human Services Secretary announced that states will be allowed to apply for Medicaid waivers to pay for mental health treatment in inpatient settings known as IMDs; and federal funding for mental health programs is being made available, including investments in research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the Mental Health Block Grant, and for key programs at the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs, and Justice.
  6. Our Cure Stigma campaign continues to reach new individuals, with thousands taking the pledge.
  7. We have 7-10 young, bright, enthusiastic interns that either volunteer or receive course credit for contributing their time, energy, and passion to spreading awareness (they’re pictured, above).
  8. We featured a wide range of enlightening educational experts as part of our Janis Black Warner Speaker Series. We have the amazing Janis Black Warner to thank for making our Speaker Series possible.
  9. We gave hope, education, and opportunity for mutual support and positive impact through programs such as NAMI in the Lobby, Peer-to-Peer classes and Peer Connections Support groups. Our affiliate has reached well over a hundred peers this year.
  10. We stepped up efforts to end the silence, shame, and stigma that surrounds mental illness by bringing NAMI’s Ending the Silence program into seven westside schools this year, including New West Charter, Wildwood, and Beverly Hills High, with many more on tap for 2019.
  11. NAMI Westside LA has undergone an extreme makeover this year. We’ve got an energized board of directors and new dedicated office staff, including our fresh-faced interns (see #7 above). We’re also excited to be offering more robust programs for family members AND their loved ones with mental health conditions.
  12. Last but not least, our membership is growing and we’re super-excited to be part of the growing movement. We are expanding the community of people who recognize that mental health deserves more resources, focus, and attention. #JoinTheMovement

What are YOU grateful for? Share on social media with posts using the hashtag #NAMIWLAGratitude or submit using this form. We will share inspiring answers on our website and our social media platforms.