NAMI Far North 2011 Annual Report
During calendar year 2011, NAMI Far North continued serving individuals living with mental illness and their families in Bonner and Boundary Counties through its programs of support, education and advocacy.
NAMI Far North held Regular Education and Support Meetings on the third Wednesday of every month except December. Programs and guest speakers included a DVD on court-ordered mental health treatment, representatives from Disability Rights Idaho, Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Housing Self-Sufficiency Idaho, North Idaho Children’s Mental Health Services, and presentations on equine therapy and In Our Own Voice. Meeting attendance ranged from 18 to 42. The education portion of each monthly meeting was followed by facilitated support groups for family members and for individuals living with mental illness.
The NAMI signature support program for people living with mental illness, NAMI Connection, was fully implemented in 2011, with regular meetings held twice each month and participants becoming involved in community service activities such as clean-up at a local soup kitchen and visits to the elderly in nursing homes.
With the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office acting as host agency, NAMI Far North sponsored Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Academy No. 3 in Sandpoint, inviting law enforcement and other first responders, mental health providers and appropriate community leaders to this 40 hour Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST)-certified course leading participants to a better understanding of mental illness and its symptoms, furthering the development of a community coalition for assessing and filling needs in community-based services for individuals with mental illness, improving the outcome of interactions between law enforcement and individuals experiencing a mental health crisis, and diverting them from jail into treatment. Nine officers and six others were trained in CIT techniques pursuant to the model developed in Memphis, TN which is considered the gold standard for such training in the U.S.
Mental Health Month was commemorated by NAMI Far North in May with “A Walk in the Woods for Mental Health”. This event included a 2-mile hike along the lower Pack River led by members of the Friends of Scotchman Peaks and a picnic lunch provided by NAMI Far North
In October, NAMI Far North invited the entire community’s participation in its second Take a Seat at the Table event creating awareness about mental illness and raising funds for continuing its programs for the next year. Take a Seat at the Table was scheduled to coincide with the nation’s Mental Illness Awareness Week. The 2011 event was held at and with special consideration donated by the Ponderay Event Center. It offered a dessert buffet and featured artist-created chairs and many other items in a live and silent auction that raised nearly $4000 for NAMI Far North’s work. In anticipation of Take a Seat at the Table, NAMI Far North placed a display in the Sandpoint Library that ran during September and October, highlighting facts and figures about mental illness.
Other community outreach and awareness events included booths at health and wellness fairs in Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry, presentations about mental illness at high schools, churches and civic groups, and seven presentations of In Our Own Voice by trained individuals who candidly reveal their stories of illness, diagnosis, treatment, recovery and hope.
During 2011, NAMI Far North’s team of certified instructors conducted three sessions of Mental Health First Aid, a program of 12 hours of instruction that helps the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders by presenting an overview of mental illness and substance use disorders and enables the public to help an individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care.
There were no Family-to-Family classes conducted in Boundary or Bonner Counties during 2011 but a number of local residents were referred to and attended Family-to-Family classes sponsored by NAMI Coeur d’Alene.
NAMI Far North’s membership grew during 2011 from 62 individual members as of January 1, 2011 to 73 members as of December 31, 2011. As some of these members were part of family memberships, the total number of NAMI memberships were 46 at the beginning the year and 58 at the end of 2011.
Several grants and major contributions enabled NAMI Far North to carry out its work in the community. The Community Assistance League (CAL) grant of $3000 was used to purchase postage stamps, paper and printing cartridges for the NAMI Far North monthly newsletter, The Advocate; rent the facility and acquire food and decorative items for Mental Illness Awareness Week “Take a Seat at the Table” event; support Mental health First Aid; buy supplies for Family-to-Family and contribute to various community outreach projects in cooperation with Disability Rights Idaho and Toastmasters.
The Idaho Community Fund award of $1000 permitted payment of a stipend to offset the cost of transportation to and from our regular educational meeting to our guest speakers; provided invitation cards and informational brochures encouraging participation in the NAMI Connection Consumer Peer Support Group; contributed to payment of registration fees for a Consumer member to attend the 4-day NAMI National educational and support convention to be held in Seattle in June 2012; and purchased teaching aids for Family to Family classes held in Bonners Ferry and additional supplies to print and mail our monthly newsletter.
Funds from the Inland Northwest Community Foundation of $6125 and a contribution of $1000 from the Vietnam Veterans enabled NAMI Far North to sponsor CIT Academy No. 4, which was conducted in March 2012) and provide scholarships for two local law enforcement officers to attend the 2012 CIT International Convention. The Ambrosiani-Pastore Foundation donated $3495 in 2011 to fund the CIT banquet held in February 2012 at which Maj. Sam Cochran was the keynote speaker in anticipation of the CIT Train the Trainer course co-organized and conducted by NAMI Far North and NAMI Idaho pursuant to a Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) awarded to NAMI Idaho in 2010.
Also in 2011, an anonymous donor contributed $12,000 to support NAMI Far North’s work of improving the lives of individuals living with mental illness and their families.
Catherine M. Perusse
Catherine M. Perusse, President
NAMI Far North
Statement of Activities - 2011 (PDF File)
Statement of Financial Position - 2011 (PDF File)
2010 Annual Report (PDF File)
Statement of Activities - 2010 (PDF File)
Statement of Financial Position - 2010 (PDF File)
2009 Annual Report (PDF File)
Statement of Activities - 2009 (PDF File)
Statement of Financial Position - 2009 (PDF File)
2008 Annual Report (PDF File)
Statement of Activities - 2008 (PDF File)
Statement of Financial Position - 2008 (PDF File)
2007 Annual Report (PDF File)
Statement of Activities - 2007 (PDF File)
Statement of Financial Position - 2007 (PDF File)