Ray Charles Lay | NAMI

Ray Charles Lay, CHW/CRS

NAMI Board of Directors

NAMI Board of Directors


Ray Charles Lay is a member of the NAMI Board of Directors, member of NAMI Greater Indianapolis and is the CEO of SMI Enterprises in Indianapolis.

Ray first learned about NAMI from a connection who served as a NAMI In Our Own Voice coordinator. He went on to give NAMI In Our Own Voice presentations of his own. Through his affiliation with NAMI, he hopes to reduce stigma and reform criminal justice involvement for people with mental health issues.


After years of homelessness, incarceration and hospitalization, Ray is in recovery from living with schizophrenia for over 50 years. After 16 years of being clean and sober, he is a homeowner and business owner, works with fellow veterans and the courts and trains correction and police officers on mental health issues.


Ray has been recognized for several with the NAMI Indiana Mary Wheaton Award for being a person with a mental health condition teaching others with a mental health condition, the Diamond Service Award for overcoming homelessness and giving back to the community. He also received the Community Champion Award from the Corporation for Supportive Housing in 2018 and 2021.


As a member of AMVETS (American Veterans), the American Legion and National Association of Peer Supporters and, Ray hopes people with mental health conditions be treated as people.

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