Our monthly chapter meetings are held the first Wednesday of the month (except July and August, when we do not meet) at 7:00 PM sharp at the First Presbyterian Church of Lansdowne, 140 N. Lansdowne Avenue in Lansdowne, PA. Interested family members, friends, and persons with a mental illness are welcome to join us. See "Resources" for details.
FAMILY-TO-FAMILY SUPPORT GROUP
Our chapter offers a support group for family members of a loved one with a mental illness. The group meets the third Thursday of each month (year-round) at 7 PM at the Lima United Methodist Church, 209 N. Middletown Road (Rt. 352) in Lima, PA. See "Resources" for more details.
FAMILY-TO-FAMILY EDUCATION COURSE
Twice a year, our chapter offers a FREE, 12-week course for family members of a loved one with a mental illness. At this time we are trying to set up a course in the Fall 2013. If you are interested, please call our office (610)623-0071, leave your name and phone number, and we will get back to you ASAP with details. See "Resources" for details.
EDUCATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP, FALL 2013
Apply for educational scholarship. Call the office for details (610)623-0071. DEADLINE: FRIDAY JULY 12th, 2013 for the Fall of 2012.
Our chapter members enjoy participating in local health fairs, bringing awareness of NAMI and providing useful handout materials to the public.
LIBRARY PROJECT - UP AND COMING THIS FALL, OCTOBER 2013 - 14 LIBRARIES
NAMI promotes mental health awareness to the public. As part of this goal, each autumn our chapter purchases books on mental illness and donates them to selected public and private libraries throughout Delaware County. The books are on display at each participating library throughout the month of October, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Week. At the end of October, they are donated to the libraries, to be placed into general circulation.
Any Delaware County resident with a valid library card may borrow the books, even if their community library is not a participating library in this project, through the Delaware County Library System (DCLS).
Our partner in this project is the Delaware County Consumer Support Program (CSP), of The Delaware County Office of Behavioral Health.
In 2012, there were a total of fourteen participating libraries, of which ten are public libraries throughout Delaware County, and four are private libraries in Delaware County. See our two lists below. In 2012, the ten participating public libraries in this project were:
1. Aston Free Library
2. Darby Free Library
3. Folcroft Library
4. Lewis Crozer Public Library
5. Lansdowne Free Library
6. Media Free Library
7. Newtown Square Public Library
8. Ridley Township Public Library
9. Swarthmore Public Library
10. Yeadon Public Library
In 2012, the four private libraries participating in this project were:
1. Project Share on-site library
2. Providence House on-site library
3. Welcome House on-site library
4. NAMI-PA Delaware County Chapter on-site library
In recent years, a small sampling of the books we have donated includes:
The Family Intervention Guide to Mental Illness, by Morey & Muese
The Great Physician's Rx for Depression and Anxiety, by Rubin & Brasco
The Optimistic Child: A Proven Program to Safeguard Children Against Depression and Build Lifelong Resilience, by Seligman
Break the Bipolar Cycle: A Day to Day Guide to Living With Bipolar Disorder by Brondol & Amador
What To Do When You Worry Too Much; A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety, by Huebner
Moving On: A Guide Good Health And Recovery for People With A Diagnosis of Schizophrenia by Hewitt
If Your Adolescent Has Schizophrenia: An Essentail Resource for Parents (The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands Adolescent mental Health Initiative), by Gur& Johnson
NAMI recognizes that many persons with a mental illness are on assistance and need help purchasing common toiletry items. These items are expensive and are not covered by food stamps. We have an on-going program to donate toiletry items such as soap, toothpaste, deodorant, toothbrushes, and shampoo to local CRR's for distribution to their residents.
Our chapter members bring these items (or a check to purchase them) to any chapter meeting. When we have enough items, we distribute them to a local CRR. These donations are gratefully received and much appreciated. This project is carried out throughout the year.
NORRISTOWN STATE HOSPITAL GIFTS
Too often, patients in long-term mental hospitals are isolated from the community. We seek to help this isolation by providing holiday gift bags to the Delaware County patients at Norristown State Hospital each December. These gift bags are welcomed by the patients.
In 2010, 53 gift bags were donated to the Delaware County patients. In 2011, we donated 65 gift bags for the Delaware County patients. In 2012, 45 bags were donated for the Delaware County patients.
WELCOME HOUSE THRIFT SHOP DONATIONS AND PROVIDENCE HOUSE DONATIONS
Our chapter works closely with the Thrift Shop at Welcome House in Upper Darby by donating gently-used clothing, small appliance, household items, and other articles to the Thrift Shop. The Shop is run by staff and members of Welcome House, and these items are much needed by the mental health community. Our members bring their donations to any chapter meeting, and we take them to Welcome House for them. This is an on-going project. We also make donations to Providence House, like same. All these donations are dependent on our members' kindness.
Our chapter members donate large items, such as furniture, to the Community Action Warehouse, an organization that works with needy persons.
Our chapter members (as well as state and national level members) enjoy speaking to groups such as churches, teachers, parents, and nursing students - whoever would like to know more about mental illness and the effect it has on individuals and families. We participate in delegations to meet with Federal, State, and Local legislators and work with them on legislation affecting the mentally ill and their families. Our members enjoy attending health fairs and other exhibitions to display literature on NAMI and mental illness, and to answer questions.
There are speakers' bureaus available for speakers at the State and National NAMI levels.