NAMI Affiliates and State Organizations have a long commitment to CIT and have helped expand CIT programs to over 2,700 communities. Local NAMIs serve a key role in bringing together partners, advocating for needed services, cheering on progress and ensuring the inclusion of people living with mental illness and their families. NAMI Affiliates contribute to CIT by:
Serving as community partners. NAMI leaders are key members of CIT steering committees. In many communities, NAMI Affiliates initiate a CIT program by bringing other partners to the table or by helping provide support to an existing program. NAMI can offer invaluable insight to your CIT program about what it’s like to live with or care for someone experiencing mental illness. Learn more about the work of your local NAMI Affiliate.
Providing education, support and awareness programs to the community. NAMI Affiliates offer free education programs, support groups and trainings to people living with mental illness and their families. Law enforcement can refer individuals and families to receive support from their local NAMIs. NAMI is also a leading voice in raising awareness of mental health through NAMIWalks and other public awareness efforts.
Sharing real stories. The stories shared by people with mental illness and their families are a vital part of the CIT training. Many NAMI members are trained to speak about their experiences; NAMI programs prepare people to share their story with a small group or large audience.
Providing feedback. NAMI Affiliates can provide feedback from the peer and family perspective about how your CIT program is working. From reviewing proposed policy changes to giving feedback to policymakers and elected officials about the importance of funding CIT, NAMI members offer a vital perspective.
Building community support. NAMI represents those in your community who may need a CIT-trained officer, so NAMI Affiliates are likely already connected to those you’re trying to help. Who better to get the word out? NAMI can also share success stories with the media to build support throughout your community.
Coordinating a CIT training. NAMI members are passionate volunteers and often help with everything from providing training expertise to printing training materials.
Honoring officers’ work. Many NAMI Affiliates hold annual award ceremonies to honor the work of CIT officers. NAMI values the opportunity to say thank you and raise the profile of successful CIT programs.