NAMI Indiana NAMI in the Lobby
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NAMI Indiana leaders and volunteers have long heard individuals remark that they wish they had known about NAMI sooner. Parents and caregivers, especially, have expressed difficulty in finding support and resources when their loved ones are going through a mental health crisis. As the youth mental health crisis in Indiana continues to escalate, NAMI Indiana aims to provide support and education through NAMI in the Lobby. 

NAMI in the Lobby is a peer-run service program at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, where trained volunteers are available to provide information regarding NAMI and other Indiana mental health resources.  NAMI in the Lobby provides free resources including guidance on navigating the mental healthcare system, lethal means protection, mental health education, support groups, self-care, and more. (To learn more about the program resources, click here).  

As a peer-run program, volunteers have lived experience with mental health crises and can offer an empathetic ear as well as a wealth of knowledge. Many table visitors have expressed deep appreciation for the time, knowledge, and compassion that volunteers share. Volunteers are present in the Simon Family Tower (across from the Green Elevators) on Mondays and Thursdays from 4 pm to 7 pm, but the resources can be accessed at any time from this website or by emailing the Program Manager (Miranda Dehaai). 

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. As a peer-run program, volunteers have lived experience with mental health crises and can offer an empathetic ear as well as a wealth of knowledge. 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. 

NAMI in the Lobby was launched at Riley Hospital for Children to primarily serve youths and their loved one but helps anyone with any mental health need who visits the table. As NAMI in the Lobby expands throughout the state, it is anticipated that NAMI Indiana will provide services at both youth-serving and adult-serving locations.   

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 and sign in front of you and to the right (directly across from the MRI waiting area and near the green elevators).  

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 and sign should be visible.

Volunteers are at the table on Monday and Thursday evenings, but if you need resources during off hours, contact the Program Manager (Miranda Dehaai). Resources available include trigger locks, medication locks, affirmation stickers, helpline magnets, a crisis binder filled with helpful information, and more. If you met with us and felt you benefited or have any feedback to give, please fill out our intake form. 

What does NAMI in the Lobby offer?

NAMI in the Lobby Indiana understands that mental health crises can be extremely stressful. For that reason, we strive to connect you with empathetic volunteers, helpful information, and local resources to assist you and your loved one(s) on your mental health journey. 

NAMI in the Lobby is a volunteer-run resource table currently available in the Simon Family Tower at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, but it is also so much more than that. As a peer-run program, volunteers have lived experience with mental health crises and can offer an empathetic ear as well as a wealth of knowledge.  

Volunteers are NAMI members who receive training on NAMI programming, active listening, de-escalation, healthcare regulations (such as HIPPA), and more. Volunteers are familiar with local and statewide NAMI Indiana programming, including support groups and education classes, and have access to a large guide of more resources. If you have volunteer feedback you wish to share, please fill out our Intake & Feedback Form. 

Visitors are also highly encouraged to fill out the NAMI in the Lobby Intake & Feedback form if they want any specific resources or follow-up during your mental health journey. 

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 the Program Manager. (Miranda Dehaai). 

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. 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. If you'd like a paper application, email the Program Manager (Miranda Dehaai)


NAMI in the Lobby strives to provide a variety of information and tools to help individuals and caregivers navigate any stage of a mental health crisis.  All the resources available at the NAMI in the Lobby table at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health can be accessed 24/7 from this site.

Crisis & Relapse Planning Resources

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. Doctors and staff can help guide you in designing your crisis plan, but the packets and tools provided in this section can help.

NAMI in the Lobby crisis & relapse planning resources include: 

Lethal means prevention tools:  Tools for reducing access to lethal means available at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health NAMI in the Lobby.

Contact Us to inquire about availability at other locations.

Youth mental health crisis binders: Tool for storing medical history, notes, conversation starters, and additional resources available at Riley Children's Hospital at IU Health NAMI in the Lobby.  

Contact Us to request a crisis binder.

Local & National Resources

NAMI in the Lobby is currently at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health in Indianapolis, but we know that patients and their loved ones live all across the state. As such, NAMI in the Lobby volunteers share local, statewide, and national resources. 

If you don't see a resource you need, fill out the intake/feedback form.

NAMI in the Lobby's local and national resources include: 

NAMI Indiana Programs

Connect with your local NAMI Affiliate to get involved!

Indiana School Resources

Directories & HelpLines

Mental Healthcare Navigation Resources

NAMI in the Lobby is one of the first services available to families and caregivers whose loved ones are experiencing a mental health crisis. As such, NAMI in the Lobby aims to provide early and continuous education and support. 

NAMI in the Lobby mental healthcare navigation tools include: 

Conversation Starters

Treatment & Recovery

English Second Language (ESL) Resources

NAMI in the Lobby does not currently have any volunteers who are fluent in another language. However, we do have a variety of English Second Language (ESL) or English Language Learner (ELL) mental health resources available. Volunteers are suggested to offer visitors a chance to type or speak into the Google Translate app in order to help as much as they can. Be aware that the translations are not always accurate, but can be a helpful tool in navigating language barriers.  Additionally, you are welcome to take a picture of any resources at the table and the language on the resource will be translated. 

NAMI in the Lobby language resources include: 

English Second Language (ESL) Guide

NAMI - "Cómo Lidiar con una crisis de salud mental"

Spanish Diagnosis Sheets

Perinatal Mental Health Resources

The journey to parenthood is an exciting experience filled with joy, love, and growth. It can also be a time of stress, anxiety, and emotional upheaval. The changes that come with pregnancy, childbirth, and caring for a newborn can take a toll on anyone’s mental health. Volunteers have Perinatal Mental Health information available by request for anyone who stops at the table. 

NAMI in the Lobby Perinatal Mental Health resources include: 

PostPartum Support International HelpLine Maternal & New Parent Resources

IU Health Perinatal Support Group

NAMI in the Lobby volunteers are knowledgeable on NAMI Indiana programs and can help guide you to the resource that best fits your needs. NAMI Indiana programs provide helpful education, resources, and a reminder that you are not alone. 

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