Monday, May 20, 2024

NAMI Chelan/ Douglas to expand


NCW- Local NAMI affiliate NAMI Chelan/Douglas is seeking to expand their service area to Okanogan and Grant counties to become NAMI North Central Washington. The expansion effort is being supported by Beacon Health Options. “Beacon Health Options is thrilled to partner with NAMI Washington to support the expansion of the North Central NAMI Affiliate to include Grant and Okanogan counties,” says Brian Rebar, NCWA Community Engagement Coordinator for Beacon Health Options. “This work is laying the foundation to establish a stronger presence and leadership structure in the North Central region as well as bringing much needed peer programming and resources to our communities.”

NAMI (or the National Alliance on Mental Illness) is a national non-profit organization with state and local affiliates in Washington State. NAMI Chelan/Douglas provides mental health support, education, and advocacy for the greater Wenatchee Valley area through online and in-person support group meetings as well as multi-session educational courses on mental illness.

Locals can attest to the positive impact that NAMI Chelan/Douglas has had on the area so far. “NAMI helped me navigate the horrible mental healthcare system in the state of Washington. Without the support of NAMICD, I’d have many doubts and guilt on how things turned out for my son. NAMI was the only organization that helped me through my tragedy,” writes Janice Daines of Wenatchee.

Nancy Bartholomew of Leavenworth found help through NAMI as well, writing “I had been in health care in Washington as a RN and Nurse Practitioner about 40 years before I heard about NAMI. Our family was having difficulty dealing with a relative with a new onset of mental illness, and we had no idea where to turn. My husband and I took [a] series of classes, and found them to be very informative, reassuring and enlightening. We did not feel alone any longer.”

In order to expand to new counties, NAMI Chelan/Douglas is actively looking to recruit regional representatives for their Board of Directors. Board Members play an important role in the growth and support of the organization. “We are looking for leaders in the region who want to see community-driven mental health support grow strategically,” said Summer Starr of NAMI Washington, the state organization supporting affiliate growth. Regional board members are expected to serve an average of 4-16 hours per month. Individuals from Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan, and Grant Counties are all welcome to apply. If you’re interested in learning more about board positions, volunteer opportunities, resources, programs, or about NAMI in general, please contact Summer Starr at or visit



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