News & Events

October 7th – 13th is Mental Illness Awareness Week

Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. However, mental illness affects everyone directly or indirectly through family, friends, or coworkers. Despite mental illnesses’ reach and prevalence, stigma and misunderstanding are also, unfortunately, widespread.

That is why each year, during the first full week of October, NAMI and participants across the country raise awareness of mental illness. Each year, we educate the public, fight stigma, and provide support.

The theme of this year’s Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is Cure Stigma. Stigma is toxic to an individual’s mental health because it creates an environment of shame, fear, and silence that prevents many people from seeking help and treatment. The perception of mental illness won’t change unless we act to change it.
As part of MIAW, NAMI of Erie County is promoting our Exploring the Arts with NAMI (ETA) event taking place October 15th, from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m., to help fight stigma starting at a young age. We will also be celebrating the graduation of our first NAMI Basics class, as well as participating in the YMCA Healthy Living & Wellness Fair, on October 12th, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Eastside YMCA.

ETA takes place at the ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum where children will explore how art and creativity can positively affect mental health and wellness. The event is open to the public and St. Martin Center will have over 50 students in attendance.

The children will enjoy a fun-filled day of music, art, and mental health education that allows them to explore how art affects mental health and wellness.
Local musician, Lori Burke, whose work has been featured on Sesame Street will perform a mini-concert for the kids. Children will get a chance to see a variety of instruments, as well as make their own out of recyclable materials.

Funding for ETA is partially provided in part by funding from The Erie Women’s Fund.

 

Join NAMI for Erie Gives Day and Help Support Exploring the Arts and NAMI Basics

This year’s Erie Gives Day is right around the corner! Erie Gives Day is Tuesday, August 14, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.
This year for Erie Gives Day, NAMI of Erie County is asking for donations to help support Exploring the Arts, as well as our newest program, NAMI Basics. Both programs focus on children and family members of children facing the challenges of mental illness. Donating to NAMI on Erie Gives Day through their website will help enable families and children to better understand mental illness and fight the stigma associated with mental illness.
The minimum gift is $25. There is no limit to the amount of money you may give. The Erie Community Foundation and their sponsors will enhance donors’ gift by providing a $300,000 prorated match to each gift made to a nonprofit.
All donations made to NAMI of Erie County stay right here in Erie County and directly support our programs and services. It is through donations, like yours, that NAMI is able to offer these programs and services free of charge. Together, we can eliminate the negative stigmas that surround mental illness and remove barriers for individuals and families facing a mental health challenge.

NAMI to Host Fourth Annual Guns & Hoses Softball Tournament

On Saturday, August 18, join NAMI for the 4th Annual Guns & Hoses charity softball game.

Tickets for the game are $13 and include admission to the SeaWolves game at 7 p.m. The game will feature the Erie Police Department, PA State Police Troop E, Erie County Fire Departments, and Millcreek Fire Department.

Guns & Hoses will kick off at 11 a.m. at UPMC Park and lasts until 4 p.m. in tournament style play. For every ticket sold, NAMI will receive a donation, which will benefit our free educational programs. In order for NAMI to receive the donation, you must mention you are attending the Guns & Hoses game when purchasing from the box office or purchase directly from a participating player.

The qualifying games will be two four-inning games. At 2 p.m., the two winning teams will face off in a playoff game, concluding at 4 p.m. The event will feature raffle baskets, a 50/50 drawing, and T-shirts for sale.

All proceeds from the event will stay in Erie County to benefit NAMI of Erie County’s programs and services that support individuals and families living with mental health challenges. NAMI’s evidence-based programs provide individuals and families with the skills they need on the road to recovery, providing them hope for a better tomorrow.

NAMI Benefits from Fourth Annual Depression and Mental Illness Dice Run

On Saturday, July 14, NAMI was the beneficiary of the 4th Annual Depression and Mental Illness Dice Run. The dice run was held to raise awareness for individuals affected by mental illness. Participants started the Dice Run at Harley-Davidson of Erie. Approximately 80 bikers registered for the dice run, which coincided with Harley-Davidson of Erie’s annual Bike Fest. At the end of the dice run, there was an after-party at Scooters with food, drinks, and a chance to win prizes.

“The Dice Run is a great, fun way to raise awareness for mental illness,” Denise L. Kolivoski, MBA, NAMI’s Executive Director. “We’re so grateful to benefit from such a great event and Missy Rininger does such a good job organizing everything.”
All proceeds from the event will stay in Erie County to benefit NAMI of Erie County’s free educational programs and services that support individuals and families living with mental health challenges. NAMI’s evidence-based programs provide individuals and families with the skills they need on the road to recovery, providing them hope for a better tomorrow.

NAMI Receives Grant for New Program

 

On July 12, NAMI of Erie County received a generous grant from The Erie Women’s Fund for a brand-new program. The Erie Women’s Fund’s donation of $60,000 will go towards starting a new program called NAMI Basics.

Members from The Erie Women’s Fund (EWF), a donor advised fund of The Erie Community Foundation, presented a check for $60,000 to NAMI to launch a pilot session of a nationally recognized program called NAMI Basics. Guy Sheldon (Left front), Board President of NAMI, Janet Peters (left back), Grants Committee Chairperson of EWF, Robin Scheppner (far right), Steering Committee Chairperson of EWF and Denise L. Kolivoski (middle right), MBA, Executive Director of NAMI, met for a formal check presentation.
NAMI Basics is a free, six-week education program for parents and family caregivers of children and teens who are experiencing symptoms of a mental illness or have already been diagnosed. NAMI Basics is offered in a group setting so you can connect with other people face-to-face.

The mission of The Erie Women’s Fund is “Empowering Women and Families.” EWF educates and inspires its members to positively impact the lives of Erie County women through philanthropy and community engagement. EWF provides financial grants, hosts enriching educational forums and engages members through informational meetings and social gatherings throughout the Erie community.

One in five individuals are impacted each year by mental illness – that means over 55,000 residents in Erie County are affected. NAMI Basics is designed to better equip parents, caregivers, and loved ones of an individual living with mental illness to show compassion, improve communication, and reduce stigma of mental illness.
NAMI Basics is made possible by a grant from The Erie Women’s Fund.


For more information on NAMI Basics, visit namierie.org/programs or call us at (814) 456-1773.

Fourth Annual Depression and Mental Illness Dice Run

 

On Saturday July 14, join NAMI for the 4th Annual Depression and Mental Illness Dice Run.

Registration will kick off at Harley-Davidson of Erie, 3712 West 12th Street at 11:00 a.m. The first out will take place at noon with the last out leaving at 1:00 p.m.

Dice run will end at Scooter’s, 2802 Old French Road. At the conclusion of the dice run, an after party at Scooter’s will take place from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Tickets for the 4th Annual Depression and Mental Illness Dice Run are $10 per person. The cost of the tickets includes the dice run and admission to the after party.

All proceeds from the event will stay in Erie County to benefit NAMI of Erie County’s free educational programs and services that support individuals and families living with mental health challenges. NAMI’s evidence-based programs provide individuals and families with the skills they need on the road to recovery, providing them hope for a better tomorrow.

NAMI’s Fabulous Golf Outing is Another Fabulous Success!

On June 22, NAMI of Erie County held its Sixth Annual Fabulous Golf Outing at Venango Valley Inn and Golf Course.  Despite rain showers, golfers were able to play nine holes and they helped us exceed our fundraising goal by raising over $26,000 for our free programs and services, ensuring that no family is ever turned away from the education they deserve. Thank you, Erie community, for stepping up and making a difference!

Golfers enjoyed a FABULOUS day beginning with live music by Mike Trott, microbrews courtesy of the Brewerie at Union Station, and samples from Luminary Distilling. DJ Tony B played your favorite classic rock hits while golfers were on the course.

Participants also competed for the Golden Boa Award and $3,000 in fabulous team prizes. Congratulations to Moore Research for taking home the first place Golden Boa trophy this year. Second place was The Greater Erie Area Action Committee (GECAC) and third place went to Highmark. Moore Research, GECAC, and Highmark have supported the Fabulous Golf Outing since its inception. Left to right: Scott Moore, Colleen Moore-Mezler, CEO of Moore Research, Denise L. Kolivoski, MBA, Executive Director of NAMI, Lindsay Moore, Director of Research and Insights and David Schumacher.

NAMI’s Fabulous Golf Outing would not be possible without our sponsors.  Some of our FABULOUS sponsors this year included: Accudyn, Forest Park Honda, GECAC, Great Lakes Metal Finishing, Harley Davidson, Highmark, The HUB, Lamar Advertising, Lilly Broadcasting – the stations of WICU 12, WSEE, the CW and MeTV, Maloney, Reed, & Scarpitti, Miller Travel, Northwest Saving Bank, PSB Industries, and UPMC Health Plan.

Proceeds benefit NAMI of Erie County’s free educational programs and services that support individuals and families living with mental health challenges. NAMI’s evidence-based programs provide individuals and families with the skills they need on the road to recovery, providing them with hope for a better tomorrow.

NAMI’s Fabulous Golf Outing is not only a great time, but it creates an environment that starts the conversation about mental health. Mark your calendars for next year’s event on June 21, 2019!

NAMI of Erie County Hosts Sixth Annual Fabulous Golf Outing

Join NAMI of Erie County on June 22 for our Fabulous Golf Outing at Venango Valley Inn and Golf Course. NAMI’s Fabulous Golf Outing has gained more and more support from the community. Despite the weather at last year’s event, NAMI still managed to exceed our fundraising goal by raising over $26,000 for our free programs and services, ensuring that no family is ever turned away from the education they deserve. Thank you to the Erie community for stepping up!

Golfers always enjoy a FABULOUS day at Venango Valley Inn and Golf Course, beginning with live music by Mike Trott, microbrews courtesy of the Brewerie at Union Station, and Moscow Mules from Luminary Distilling. Golfers also compete for the Golden Boa Award and $3,000 in fabulous team prizes, while DJ Tony B plays all the hits right on the course. Golfers cap off the day with a delicious steak dinner, awards, and $7,000 in raffle baskets, a FABULOUS time for a FABULOUS cause.

NAMI’s Fabulous Golf Outing would not be possible without our sponsors. These funds have helped NAMI assist more than 24,000 Erie County individuals and families in need of mental health education and support. With your help, NAMI looks forward to helping even more Erie County families in need. Some of our FABULOUS sponsors this year include: Forest Park Honda, Harley-Davidson, Three B Saloon, The HUB, PNC, GECAC, Highmark, Lamar Advertising, and Accudyn.

Proceeds benefit NAMI of Erie County’s free educational programs and services that support individuals and families living with mental health challenges. NAMI’s evidence-based programs provide individuals and families with the skills they need on the road to recovery, providing them hope for a better tomorrow.

NAMI’s Fabulous Golf Outing is not only a great time, but it creates an environment that starts the conversation about mental health. The fabulous part is that the more we talk about mental health, the more barriers we break down in the battle to reduce stigma for people facing daily mental health challenges.

To register or sponsor The Fabulous Golf Outing, visit namierie.org/fabulous or call us at (814) 456-1773.

NAMI Teacher and Volunteer Wins ‘I am the Evidence’ Award

On May 23, NAMI teacher and volunteer, Rick Albertson, won the Mental Health Association’s (MHA) “I am the Evidence Award.”

Rick receives his award from MHA Director, Bill Grove.

The “I am the Evidence” Award is awarded to an Erie County mental health consumer who is a great example of working to overcome their mental health issues to pursue recovery and living a meaningful life of their choosing. This is the seventh year the MHA has put out the award. This year, four individuals received the award.

Rick began volunteering at NAMI in the fall of 2016 when he became a mentor for our Peer-to-Peer program. Rick has experienced a significant level of recovery and is able to lead the class through difficult discussions and interactive workshops. Rick has a balanced treatment plan that has allowed him to take on leadership opportunities, and he is always striving to better himself so that he can help more mental health consumers. Rick is a Certified Peer Specialist and meets with consumers on a regular basis to help them on their road to recovery. Rick’s efforts on behalf of NAMI of Erie County have helped numerous mental health consumers on their recovery journey. Congratulations, Rick!

NAMI of Erie County Hosts Fourth Exploring the Arts with NAMI

NAMI of Erie County held its fourth annual Exploring the Arts with NAMI on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at the ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum. Children from Early Connections explored the museum and how art and creativity can positively affect mental health and wellness. Approximately 50 students from Early Connections attended. This year, Exploring the Arts with NAMI featured local musician Lori Burke, who has written music for Sesame Street.

The children enjoyed a fun-filled day of music, art, and mental health education that allowed them to explore how art and creativity can positively affect mental health and wellness. The children got a chance to see a variety of instruments, as Lori Burke performed some classic kid’s songs and a few that she has written. The kids then got to make an instrument of their own using recycled materials. Exploring the Arts with NAMI was started in 2015 in an effort to introduce mental health and reduce stigma at an early age through music and artistic expression. The program has served over 750 children since its inception.

NAMI of Erie County is focused on fostering personal growth and family stability by supporting and educating family members and individuals facing the challenges of mental illness in Erie County. As always, NAMI’s community services are provided free of charge. For more information on Exploring the Arts with NAMI or NAMI of Erie County, visit NAMIerie.org.

Support is provided in part from a Project Grant from Erie Arts & Culture and by The Erie Women’s Fund.

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