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About NAMI Waco

Who We Are

NAMI Waco is a volunteer organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people affected by serious mental illness. We work to accomplish our mission by providing support and education to individuals and families, and the general public.  We advocate for appropriate services and support research on mental illness. Our education classes, informational pamphlets, support groups, and all other material and services are available to everyone free of charge.

 Organization History

NAMI Waco was founded in 1988, as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.  The majority of our members are local family members whose loved ones suffer from one of the major mental illnesses: bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, major depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or borderline personality disorder.  Along with our 29 fellow affiliates across this state, NAMI Texas, and our national body, NAMI national, we are collectively recognized as the most formidable and effective grassroots mental health advocacy organization in the country.

 Statement of Need                               

Did you know that 1 in 5 people live with a mental health condition?  If those numbers don’t catch your attention, try these:

There is an estimated 64,280,000* people living in the U.S. with a mental health condition.

There is an estimated 5,539,057* people living in Texas with a mental health condition.

There is an estimated 52,642* people living in Waco with a mental health condition.

*using data from the projected 2015 census

Texas faces a devastating shortage of mental health care professionals, especially in rural and impoverished urban areas. Consumers and their families in this state do not have universal, unimpeded access to the kind of quality care that creates the conditions for recovery. NAMI Texas and NAMI Waco work together to address the current crisis through advocacy, support, and consumer education.  NAMI Texas has over 5,000 members made up of mental health consumers, family members, friends, and professionals. Its purpose is to help improve the lives of people affected by mental illness through education, support, and advocacy. We fight to eradicate stigma and erase misconceptions by reaching out to the general public as well.

The cost of inadequate mental health care to our society is staggering. A National Institute of Mental Health study found that mental health services are not meeting demand: “For instance, over a 12-month period, 60 percent of those with a mental disorder got no treatment at all.” The study showed that there was often a delay, sometimes over a decade, between onset of symptoms and accessing treatment. NAMI Waco recognizes the need for a concerted, coordinated effort to provide support and advocacy for everyone in the recovery process.

How NAMI Waco Helps Residents

In order to keep our programs going, we need to train new volunteer facilitators.  NAMI Waco and NAMI Texas are committed to providing high quality training and empowering our facilitators to their full potential.  All of our educational programs are peer provided: family members and individuals with mental illness volunteer to teach and NAMI Texas coordinates the training so that they can be successful.

Each year NAMI Waco members benefit from the NAMI Texas annual conference and other state-wide trainings.  For example, past offerings have included “Connecting Faith Based and Mental Health Connections” in Longview and “Symposiums on Mental Health” at Texas Southern University (Houston).

NAMI Texas provides Board training and support, advice about improving our programs, a membership database, resources for our education programs, assists us with administrative support, and more.  They can be counted on to provide ongoing support and guidance for NAMI Waco.

NAMI Waco expects the need for funds to continue. Since mental health issues touch so many lives, we have a strong base of community support and benefit from a strong contingent of dedicated volunteers.

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