WILMINGTON – Delaware’s grassroots leader on mental health issues is marking its 40th anniversary this year with a powerful schedule of events and a special campaign to reduce stigma and …
WILMINGTON – Delaware’s grassroots leader on mental health issues is marking its 40th anniversary this year with a powerful schedule of events and a special campaign to reduce stigma and increase awareness.
“This year, we look forward to meeting new challenges while celebrating what has changed,” said Dr. Joshua Thomas, CEO and executive director of NAMI Delaware.
“Delaware has had major policy successes in just the last few years, while continuing to grow services and programs for friends and family members in need. But more obstacles remain, including deep misunderstandings about mental illness and a widespread shortage of mental health professionals.”
Among the plans this year to celebrate the 40th anniversary:
The National Alliance on Mental Illness’ Delaware chapter began with a small group of families gathered in a Wilmington church in the spring of 1983. Founders Jill and Simon Shute, parents of a son experiencing mental illness, had no idea that the seeds they sowed would be growing strong four decades later.
“NAMI has helped support countless family members and caregivers as they help their loved ones along their journeys,” said Jill Shute. “We could not have imagined the community that has grown here and the compassion that NAMI spreads every day.”
NAMI Delaware was named the Outstanding NAMI State Organization in 2022 in recognition of its work in outreach, advocacy, and education. A 15-member staff and dedicated corps of volunteers serves the entire state, with thousands of clients and support group participants.
The chapter runs educational programs, shapes public policy, advocates on behalf of Delawareans, offers support through the toll-free Helpline, and works to raise awareness, fight stigma, and encourage understanding. Unique among state NAMI chapters, it operates a network of permanent and transitional housing for people experiencing chronic mental illness.
Among its recent accomplishments, NAMI Delaware has:
Visit NAMIDelaware.org to learn more about the organization and its programs and events. The Helpline, a resource and referral line, is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 888-427-2643 or en español at 302-415-4356. If you are experiencing a crisis, text 741-741 or call 988.