Support mental well-being in our community during the pandemic by helping us cover the costs of volunteer food delivery, online support groups and classes, and other projects.
(Please donate $1 if that's all you can. It really does make a difference to help us with our outreach efforts to persons who suffer from mental illness.)
NAMI Long Beach Area would like to continue our support group programming for persons who suffer from mental illness. Up until this point, our programming has been conducted in person and free of charge to persons who need it most, by a devoted group of volunteers. We have been able to provide our support services free of charge based on generous donations from private and public funding.
But recent events have drastically curtailed our ability to provide the in-person programming.
Your generous donation would help us set up to deliver our support group services through video conferencing to a very vulnerable community who could really benefit from our support group gatherings at this critical and uncertain time.
With the recent emergency orders from state and local governance, we are no longer able to provide in-person support because our services have been deemed "non-essential."
We believe our support services are essential to maintaining a critical support system for those in our community who currently suffer from mild to servere mental illness, and rely on NAMI Long Beach as their go-to source to gain social support, and to learn coping and self-care skills.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a particular vulnerability about persons who suffer from mental illness. Many who suffer from mental illness live at barely subsistence level. They rely on free services and support groups to cope with their mental illness and for a social safety net that enables them to function in society. Many suffering from mental illness do not have social support beyond the interactions from support groups provided by public mental health providers, from privately funded charities and faith-based charities, who offer free in-person support groups and educational sessions.
Right now, communities are reeling from the recent actions taken by local and state government to stem the COVID-19 virus. For example, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has issued a "Safer at Home" emergency order - ordering all residents of the City of Los Angeles to stay inside their residences, and immediately limit all movement outside of their homes beyond what is absolutely necessary to take care of essential needs. This order went into effect at 11:59pm Thursday, March 19, 2020.
Read more about the Los Angeles emergency order here:
As a result of the emergency orders from state and local government, NAMI Long Beach Area has been required to cancel its in-person support groups and educational classes, as these services have been deemed "non-essential."
However, this is quite possibly the worst categorization of our mental health support services: During such concerning times as have been brought due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we believe our support groups are absolutely necessary for persons that suffer from mental illness to continue in recovery and maintain the necessary socialization rather than become isolated and further at-risk.
Without continuing our support groups, we believe that there is great risk that members of our community who suffer from the following mental health issues and who have come to rely on our necessary support programming will become very isolated and could possibly experience severe relapse. Persons who suffer from the following mental health conditions in our community not only have to deal with their illness in isolation due to the emergency orders for self-isolation, but also have to deal with what uncertainties about the COVID-19 virus will bring:
• Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
• Anxiety disorders
• Bipolar Disorder
• Borderline personality disorder
• Disassociative disorders
• Eating disorders
• Obsessive-compulsive disorders
• Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
• Schizoaffective Disorder
We are requesting your help to fund our ability to offer virtual support groups so that we can enable our vulnerable community to get the vital services they need to maintain recovery and resilience during these challenging times.
The members of our community that suffer from mental illness have unique needs and concerns, and are socially vulnerable persons that we believe deserve a chance to remain resilient and retain services that help self-sufficiency.
We desire to be able to continue our programming and support groups to allow persons to retain some continuity during these trying times.
Inspired by other group-specific fundraisers, this fundraiser is launching today, March 21, 2020. We will invite our organization, NAMI Long Beach Area, to oversee funds distribution to set up an online support group process.
Funds will be used for the following:
• Pay for additional personnel to help run the online support groups. We currently have trained volunteers who are familiar with the nuts and bolts of running our groups, but who do not have the technical capabilities to run the online components.
• Pay for “help desk” support so that we can reach out to our community and help them to get online for the support groups.
• Funding for virtual support group software. Because of our need to keep all conversations confidential, we need to purchase “Pro” versions of virtual video conferencing software, rather than use “free” versions.
• Pay for an additional outreach person so that we can provide professional follow up with persons who may be isolated and confused because of current events.
• Any remaining funds, if any, will be used to exand the number and frequency of our support groups.
I am a member of the Board of Directors NAMI Long Beach Area.
NAMI Long Beach is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals affected by mental illness, and their families, by providing mental health education, support and advocacy.
I have seen first hand the adverse effects when a loved one with severe mental illness does not have a reliable social network. This often compounds the illness, and can lead to relapse or worse.
I joined the Board of Directors of NAMI Long Beach last year and continue to volunteer my time because I have witnessed the great transformative power that positive socialization can bring to persons who are experiencing a mental health issue. Persons who have a great social network are helped towards their recovery and resiliency. It's an extraordinary thing to be a part of!
I decided to open this fundraiser because I know those persons I have listed as beneficiaries of this campaign really need the continuity of mental health support services during these uncertain times. Many are isolated and alone, with their day-to-day routines disrupted. Right now our volunteer-based organization needs to find ways to continue to offer support groups to persons who will otherwise be isolated and alone. Face-to-face is the best way for support groups, but for right now, and maybe een into the future while we get a handle COVID-19 circumstances in our community, virtual support groups seem like the best and immediate option to help.
I will not obtain or be paid any money from this fund. I am volunteering 100% of my time to facilitate our nonprofit's ability to continue to offer our support groups to a population who could really benefit from this.
Thank You very much for your assistance.
Yours in health and safety,
Board of Directors, NAMI Long Beach Area