National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Davidson County

NAMI Davidson County improves the quality of life for people with mental illness and their loved ones by providing effective and innovative support, education and advocacy services.

Host Jeremy C. Park talks with Robin Nobling, Executive Director of NAMI of Davidson County, which is an independently funded and operated affiliate of the National Association on Mental Illness serving the Greater Nashville area. The organization provides support, education, advocacy and awareness on the impact of mental health issues for people throughout the region. During the interview, Nobling discusses the organization and their efforts, how the pandemic has moved mental health to the forefront of national dialogue and how the organization has responded to be a resource to help, their efforts around advocacy, valuable tips, how the community can help, and more.

We talk about it. Before COVID mental health issues were a whisper in the background. With the rise in suicide, drug overdoses, anxiety and depression, mental health has moved to the forefront of national dialogue. NAMI has moved there with it. The National organization and its affiliates all over the country have stepped up offerings of their free mental health programs. NAMI Davidson immediately took its services online, increasing the number of groups offered, and providing online education. The agency has participated in local, state, and national discussions on response to elevated levels of anxiety and depression and developing best practices in telehealth. It has also provided online education and support to psychiatric residents at Meharry, Chambers of Commerce for Donelson/Hermitage and Wilson County, and the new employees of the Davidson County Sheriff’s department.

NAMI Davidson is a small organization with a big footprint. The agency is staffed by a full-time Executive Director, and 3 part-time employees. They are supported by dedicated lead volunteers and board members who assisted the agency in documenting contact with over 9,000 people at the close of the fiscal year last June.  The organization provides, support, education, advocacy and awareness on the impact of mental health issues for people throughout Greater Nashville. From a place of their own lived experience, NAMI Davidson’s staff and volunteers light the way down a dark path to shine a light on mental wellness.

NAMI Davidson County is an independently funded and operated affiliate of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Chapters are operating in all fifty states. Signature programs are evidence-based, led by trained peers, and most are free. The agency receives 40% of it’s funding through a grant from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. It’s annual NAMIWalks Greater Nashville, other fundraisers, small grants, and private contributions provide 55%. Support from NAMI Tennessee and NAMI national contribute to 5% of the total operating budget.

Most recently worked with Verizon throughout the US on their Calling for Kindness Campaign which we co-developed. CLICK HERE to go to the Verizon Campaign.

Verizon employees were also given the chance to display corporate responsibility through special Kindness Calling messages to uplift staff at the Regional Mental Health Institute. This was an outreach program we did for both the benefit of Verizon employees and their emotional well-being, and their corporate engagement with others, as well as supporting NAMI Davidson Co.

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