We Fight Spotlight: NAMI Grand Traverse

For this week’s Spotlight, We Fight chatted with Jessie Perez, NAMI Grand Traverse Navigator. NAMI GT, a chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is a “family-based grassroots nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with mental illness and their families through support, education and advocacy.”

Learn more about NAMI GT in our interview with Jessie:

What are some of the resources NAMI GT offers?

We work to lower stigma and connect families/individuals to resources. We offer weekly support groups for family members and a connections group for individuals with mental health conditions. We offer several trainings and educational classes for families or individuals. We have a family navigator on staff to assist families in crisis. We have a very active, passionate board of directors who each bring mental health lived experiences and expertise to the table.

What are you most proud of about NAMI GT? 

We’re most proud of our grassroots approach and willingness to navigate resources and supports for families or individuals, as well as our drive to lower stigma in the community and schools.

What would you love to overhear someone say about NAMI GT? 

The feedback we’d love to overhear about NAMI is that everyone who is connected to us feels heard and supported — that we are a passionate staff and board with lived experiences related to mental health, and we genuinely want to help those facing mental health challenges — and that we never say “no” to someone. 

If you had a blank check, what would you fund?

If we had a blank check, we’d fund programs in the schools that raise awareness and provide supports to youth and staff. As well as build a crisis wellness center for anyone of any age to receive care at no cost to them. A peaceful place fully equipped to provide around the clock residential care and connection to follow up supports for after.

How can people get involved?

People can help by joining us to raise awareness and lower stigma — and by donating to NAMI GT as we expand our service to help more individuals/families, offer more classes and support groups and hire more staff.

Please join in celebrating and building awareness for NAMI GT. There are lots of ways — big and small — We Fight members can help, including the following:

  • Sharing the Spotlight on social media
  • Forwarding this newsletter to a friend
  • Writing a review on Facebook or Google
  • Telling a friend or neighbor about NAMI GT
  • Writing a letter to the editor to support NAMI GT
  • Contacting NAMI GT and asking what they need

We Fight members can nominate organizations/initiatives to spotlight using this form.

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