NAMI Indiana NAMI in the Lobby
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NAMI in the Lobby Volunteer helping parents

NAMI in the Lobby aims to support families and caregivers whose loved ones are experiencing a mental health crisis.  NAMI in the Lobby is currently active in the Simon Family Tower Lobby at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health and plans to expand throughout the state in future years. Volunteers, who connect caregivers with the applicable resources, are present Mondays and Thursdays from 4-7 pm, but the resources can be accessed at any time from this site or by emailing the manager (Miranda Dehaai).

This NAMI Indiana program offers parents and caregivers the opportunity to access support during a stressful time. Having a loved one in the hospital for a mental health crisis can be incredibly worrisome and hard to navigate, so our aim is to ease some of those concerns. By offering education and resources, we believe that caregivers can feel more empowered to make informed decisions for the well-being of their loved one. 

Why did NAMI in the Lobby start?

In many NAMI Indiana education classes, support groups, and HelpLine calls, individuals remark that they wish they had known about NAMI sooner. NAMI in the Lobby is one way NAMI Indiana can reach individuals experiencing a mental health crisis and their caregivers, sooner. Trained  NAMI volunteers are available in Pediatric Emergency Room Lobbies in order to provide a connection and resources on Day 1.  Community surveys at Riley Children's Health Hospital reflected similar desires for mental health initiatives, and so we decided to band together to help those who need it in our overlapping communities.

Concerns about mental health, especially in youth, have peaked in recent years. According to the National Institute of Health, approximately twenty percent of youth ages 3-17 in the United States have a mental, emotional, developmental, or behavioral disorder. In Indiana, according to the 2021 Indiana KIDS COUNT data book, 12.7% of Hoosier youth cope with severe major depression alone (three percentage points above the national average of 9.7%). Individuals with diagnosed mental illness are at greater risk of experiencing a mental health crisis, but too often a crisis occurs before a mental illness has been diagnosed.  A mental health crisis is any situation where the child’s behaviors put them at risk of hurting themselves or others and the parent is not able to manage the behaviors with the skills and resources available. 

Having a loved one in the hospital for a mental health crisis can be incredibly worrisome and hard to navigate, so our aim is to ease some of those concerns. By offering education and resources, we believe that caregivers can feel more empowered to make informed decisions for the well-being of their loved one. 

Where is NAMI in the Lobby?

NAMI in the Lobby is currently active in Riley Children's Health Hospital (directions) with plans to expand to different county affiliates. Contact your local affiliate to ask about resources near you. 

NAMI in the Lobby Volunteers have a designated spot in the Simon Family Tower Lobby. Upon entering the Lobby, go through security and look for our blue table in front of you and to the right (directly across from the MRI waiting area).  

If you are in the Emergency Room, exit into the hall and turn right. After you enter the next set of doors and pass the Green elevators, our blue NAMI table should be visible.

Volunteers are at the table on Monday and Thursday evenings, but resources are accessible 24/7.  Resources available include trigger locks, medication locks, stress balls, affirmation stickers, helpline magnets, coloring books, and a crisis binder filled with helpful information and local resources. If you met with us and felt you benefited or have any feedback to give, please fill out our intake form. 

What resources are available?

NAMI in the Lobby Indiana understands that mental health crises can be extremely stressful. For that reason, we strive to connect you with important information and helpful resources to assist you on your mental health journey. 

Trained volunteers are set up in the Simon Family Tower in Riley Children's Hospital during visitation hours where they can share information regarding the NAMI and other Indiana mental health resources.  

Each visitor of the NAMI in the Lobby table also has the option of receiving a Restriction Kit and Crisis Binder which includes safety resources and education information.  Restriction Kits include trigger locks, a drug deactivation pouch, and medication lock boxes to reduce access to lethal means; A NAMI helpline card; and a Reducing Access to Lethal Means information sheet. A digital version of the Crisis Binder is available in the Resources section.

To request a restriction kit email Richard Dixon, the program director.

Don't see a resource you need? Fill out the Feedback/Intake Form!

How can I volunteer?

We are so excited that you're interested in helping connect individuals with life-changing resources at our NAMI in the Lobby tables! 

NAMI Indiana seeks volunteers who are excited to connect patients and families with mental health resources. Qualified NAMI in the Lobby volunteers have lived experience supporting a loved one through their mental health journey. Often, this includes parents of children or young adults with a mental health condition. 

The program is underway in the lobby of Riley Children's Health Hospital. Volunteers are asked to be available twice a month and commit to 12-months; shifts take place on Mondays and Thursdays from 4-7 p.m. As a volunteer for both Riley Children's Health Hospital and NAMI Indiana, volunteers must complete the application and screening process, take 8 hours total of training, and fulfill a background check.

Volunteers are asked to be available twice a month, Monday and Thursday evenings (4-7), with a 12-month commitment. Once you turn in your volunteer application, we will contact you within 48 hours. Applications can be submitted by emailing Richard Dixon ( or Miranda Dehaai ( 


Crisis Binder

If you've visited the NAMI in the Lobby table, you should have been offered a Crisis Binder. Our Crisis Binders act as a  bulk source for education, resources, and notes. NAMI Indiana organized and developed guide booklets which will be included in the binder, in consultation with subject matter experts. 

Over the course of your child’s life, you will receive a great deal of information and documents at meetings. It is important to keep all this information together in one place where it is easily accessible. We recommend using this three-ring binder, an accordion file, or a heavy-duty folder to organize any paperwork, documents, medical history, and progress notes. This binder is organized with divider tabs to make accessibility easier, including removable tabs that can be relabeled.

The resources below act as a "virtual crisis binder," but if you would like the paper binder, you can request one by visiting the table in Riley Children's Health Hospital or emailing us. 

Getting Started Information

When a friend or family member develops a mental health condition, it's important to know that you're not alone. Family members and caregivers often play a large role in helping and supporting the millions of people in the U.S. who experience mental health conditions each year. Many family members and caregivers experience the same thoughts and questions you might be having now. You may be trying to help a family member who doesn't have access to care or doesn't want help. Or you may want to learn how to support and encourage someone who has been hospitalized or experienced a similar mental health crisis. 

We realize that the challenges of mental illness do not only affect an individual's family members but also friends, teachers, neighbors, coworkers and others in the community. Here we use the terms family member and caregiver interchangeably to refer to someone giving emotional, financial or practical support to a person with a mental health condition. Whether you're providing a lot of assistance or very little, the information here can help you better understand the issues that you might face.

This section of the binder includes: 

Local Resources

NAMI in the Lobby is currently at Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis, but we know that patients and visitors are coming from all across the state. As such, we made sure to include national, Indianapolis, and different county mental health resources in our crisis binder. 

This section of the binder includes: 

Managing a Crisis

No one wants to worry about the possibility of a crisis, but they do happen. That doesn't mean you have to feel powerless. Many healthcare providers require patients to create a crisis plan, and may suggest that it be shared with friends and family. As you create your crisis plan it can go in this section. Doctors and staff can help guide you in designing your crisis plan, but the packets provided in this section can also help.

This section of the crisis binder includes: 

Don't see a resource you need? Fill out the Feedback/Intake Form!

NAMI has a variety of programs that can provide helpful education, resources, and a reminder that you are not alone. 

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