About NAMI Alaska

NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to mental health services, treatment, support, and research and is committed to raise awareness and build hope. As the state chapter, NAMI Alaska has helped people affected by mental illness since 1984. We envision a state where all people affected by mental illness live healthy, fulfilling lives supported by a caring, culturally sensitive community.

 

In Alaska, there are local NAMI affiliates in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and North Slope. These volunteer-centered organizations work in their communities to raise awareness and offer free education, advocacy, and support group programs. NAMI’s signature programs have provided hope for thousands of individuals and families. Our activities and programs are offered peer-to-peer, meaning one individual affected by mental illness helps another.

 

Until 2003 NAMI Alaska was a fully-funded, robust state office. State of Alaska funding decreased from 2003 through 2007 when NAMI Alaska lost all support. After that, the Alaska NAMI affiliates united and organized most of the services that NAMI Alaska previously offered. In 2013 the NAMI Alaska board started to rebuild and chose to focus on training NAMI Signature Program facilitators and teachers. Currently, we are a strong and effective organization, focusing on program expansion, providing technical assistance to our Alaska NAMI affiliates, promoting statewide advocacy, and seeking sustainable funding sources.
 

Over the years, NAMI Alaska has:
Advocated for:

  • increasing the State of Alaska Mental Health budget,

  • adequate community-based services to keep people out of institutional care,

  • evidence-based treatments and services,

  • policies and regulations to support consumers and their families,

  • insurance parity for mental illness,

  • client-centered continuum of care, etc.


Advocated against:

  • stigma towards people with mental health conditions,

  • criminalizing mental illness or the practice of sending those who live with a mental illness to prison when no psychiatric facility beds are available, etc.

Accomplishments and programs implemented:

  • Alaska Mental Health Trust Settlement – NAMI Alaska was very involved and represented families and consumers.

  • Mental Health Conferences – Bringing together families and consumers from around Alaska.

  • Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) in Alaska - CIT is a community-based partnership between NAMI, consumers, law enforcement, and mental health providers to recognize the common goals of safety, service, and understanding.

  • Online Statewide Support Groups - To expand family and peer support services, Alaska affiliates, and NAMI Alaska jointly launched online Family Support and Connection Recovery Support groups to benefit all Alaskans.

  • Serve on Boards and Commissions - Currently, a NAMI Alaska board member is president of the NAMI National Board of Directors. Other boards include The Alaska Mental Health Trust, Alaska Mental Health Board, API Governing Board, and several local boards.

  • We are proud of our 36 years of unique support for individuals affected by mental illness and those who care about them and their recovery.

Our Vision

NAMI Alaska envisions a state where all people affected by mental illness live healthy, fulfilling lives supported by a caring, culturally sensitive community.

Our Mission

NAMI Alaska provides education, support, advocacy, and public awareness for Alaska NAMI Affiliates, individuals, their families, friends, and community members whose lives are affected by a mental health condition.

Our Values

Hope, Collaboration, Inclusion, Empowerment, Compassion, Fairness