NAMI Alaska is a private non-profit corporation that serves as the state chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) in Alaska. NAMI Alaska was incorporated in 1985 as a 501(c)(3) entity. Our state office in Anchorage serves local affiliates in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Wasilla, Ketchikan, Kenai, Kodiak, Sitka, Homer, Barrow and Bethel. Our network consists of over 2,000 consumers, providers, family members, advocates, law enforcement officials, and educators.
The NAMI Alaska office is located in Anchorage at 144 W. 15th Avenue. The building, a home which was built in the 1950?s and renovated into office space, was purchased for NAMI Alaska by the State of Alaska in approximately 1997. The building houses the NAMI Alaska offices, the NAMI Anchorage office, the support group meeting spaces and the state library. Locations for the NAMI local affiliates are located within each affiliate community.
NAMI Alaska has been a force in the Alaska mental health system for over 20 years. NAMI has advocated for system changes that makes the service delivery system more responsive to individuals and their families. One of the co-founders of NAMI Alaska speaks about the ?Bell Awards? that used to be given out to mental health advocates in the state. The bells were made of the melted metal chains that used to be used to bind the mentally ill in our state-run mental institution. NAMI addresses the needs of persons with mental illness and advocates for humane treatment, decriminalization, life domain issues and recovery for those so affected.Locally, between the nine affiliates statewide, NAMI Alaska receives hundreds of calls for assistance, support and advocacy from consumers and family members every month. People call, walk-in, write letters, and email NAMI looking for legal assistance, support, educational materials, information on recovery and best treatment practices, medications, vocational issues, and entitlements. Generally, most inquiries are for assistance in navigating the mental health system in order that an individual or a loved one can improve their quality of services, leading to an increased quality of life. The continuation of our efforts will ensure that we can assist consumers and family members with these needs across the state of Alaska, and to continue to provide more individualized interventions as well as to increase the overall number of people we are able to assist.