Becoming a NAMI volunteer is rewarding and has a real impact on those you serve. You use your experience of living with a mental illness or your experience as a loved one or caregiver of someone living with a mental illness to provide support, education, or awareness to your neighbors. 

Volunteers are trained to lead a program and are asked to make a commitment to provide that program in the community.  You can volunteer with your local affiliate, or start programming in a community that does not have an affiliate. Training is provided free through the NAMI Indiana state office.

Below are the current programs provided through NAMI and NAMI Indiana. If you are interested in getting started or if you'd like more information, please email info@namiindiana.org.

NAMI Family Support Group Facilitator:

NAMI Family support group facilitators lead our family support groups for families and friends of people who are living with a mental illness. Support groups are held all around the state and are offered free to adults. Facilitators are trained by NAMI Indiana staff to help families problem solve and provide an empathetic ear.

Connections Recovery Support Group Facilitator:

Connections support group facilitators lead our support groups for people living with mental illnesses. Connections support groups are held all over the state. Connections facilitators are peers living in recovery. NAMI Indiana holds trainings throughout the year for people interested in  becoming a support group facilitator.

Family-to-Family Leaders:

Family-to-Family leaders lead the 8 week education class for families or caregivers of someone living with a mental illness. Leaders are trained by NAMI Indiana staff. Two trained leaders will lead classes in their local community.

Peer-to-Peer Leaders:

Peer-to-Peer leaders lead the 8 week education class that helps people who are in or looking to live in recovery with their mental illness. As a leader you and another leader will lead the class in learning ways to cope and maintain recovery. Peer-to-Peer leaders are trained through NAMI Indiana.

Ending the Silence Presenters:

NAMI Ending the Silence presentations include two leaders: one who shares an informative presentation, and a young adult with a mental health condition who shares their journey of recovery. Audience members can ask questions and gain an understanding of an often misunderstood topic.  NAMI Indiana staff train and work with the speakers to help craft their story. 

In Our Own Voice Presenter:

In Our Own Voice volunteers get the opportunity to share their story of living in recovery. IOOV presenters talk to various groups to help end the stigma associated with mental illnesses. People who hear an IOOV presentation are able to leave with the knowledge that mental illnesses are treatable.

Family & Friends Presenter:

Presenters for Family & Friends lead this seminar designed to inform families and friends of people living with mental illness about the ways they can support their loved one. Presenters are trained by NAMI and lead this program in their local community.

Sharing Your Story with Law Enforcement Presenter:

Sharing Your Story with Law Enforcement (SYSLE) is a presentation program that prepares individuals and family members to share their stories of lived experience with mental illness to a law enforcement audience, such as during Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training, or other events where mental illness and related topics are featured. This presentation is provided monthly to new staff at prison facilities in Indiana.

NAMI in the Lobby Volunteer:

NAMI in the Lobby is a service for parents and other family caregivers in need of mental health resources for their loved ones. Trained volunteers have a designated space in the lobby area of hospitals during visitation hours where they provide visitors with information on NAMI and other local mental health resources. This NAMI Indiana program offers parents and caregivers the opportunity to feel connected with resources and information that can help. Volunteers receive training through the hospitals and NAMI Indiana.

Public Policy Committee:

Our public policy committee keeps the legislative process in their sight. NAMI Indiana PPC follows what laws are being changed and looks to change laws. Members of this committee will testify at hearings and meet with legislators to provide an understanding of living with mental illness. This group meets once a month.

NAMI Indiana HelpLine Volunteer:

The NAMI Indiana HelpLine is contacted over 1,000 times a year by people across the state who are affected by mental illness and in need of help. HelpLine Specialists provide a vital service to the NAMI Indiana community by responding with empathy to inquiries by phone, email, and social media posts, and by providing valuable information about mental health conditions and treatment options, NAMI education and support programs, and other mental health resources.

NAMI Indiana HelpLine Specialists help individuals and families improve their lives and advance recovery by listening to their concerns and connecting them with essential resources and services. They extend empathy, understanding, respect, and emotional support to everyone contacting the NAMI Indiana HelpLine. As volunteers, they will develop a deep understanding of the mental health landscape, mental illnesses, treatment options, and recovery strategies. They will also experience the appreciation and gratitude expressed by the individuals, families, and caregivers they serve. HelpLine Specialists are asked to volunteer four hours a week for six months. Read the entire HelpLine Volunteer description and requirements here. HelpLine Specialists must go through an application process, click here for an application and contact Elizabeth Boyle at eboyle@namiindiana.org  for more information and to apply. 

For information on any of these groups or programs contact 800-677-6442.

Even if you are not ready to volunteer, you can always make your voice heard. By simply talking openly about mental illnesses you are helping to end stigma and spread awareness. You can always do something!