Local NAMI Affiliate Changes Name, Expands Service Area
June 2023 – The region’s affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, formerly known as NAMI Buffalo & Erie County, has been approved to expand its geographic service area to include the counties of Niagara, Orleans, Wyoming, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua. To better reflect this expansion, NAMI-NYS and the national organization granted approval for the name change to NAMI Buffalo & Western New York.
NAMI Buffalo & Western New York will immediately begin building their capacity and developing strategic partnerships with stakeholders, providers, and residents of the five counties in the new service area. “Mental health concerns are on the rise across our region. We are excited for this opportunity to provide support and education to residents in surrounding counties to meet this increase in demand,” states Executive Director Jeffrey Pirrone, “We look forward to collaborating within these communities to specify the areas of need and what supports will most benefit the residents there.”
NAMI Buffalo & Western New York currently provides support, education, and advocacy to individuals and families challenged by mental health distress. The education programs, like Family-to-Family and Sharing Hope, ensure families get the support and information they need. NAMI also hosts Family Support Groups for loved ones of those with mental health needs so that no one feels alone in their mental health journey. Through its advocacy efforts, NAMI shapes public policy for people with mental illness and their families and provides volunteer leaders with the tools, resources, and skills necessary to ensure mental healthcare for all. NAMI’s local HelpLine allows trained volunteers with lived experience to respond personally to hundreds of requests each year, providing free information and support—a much-needed lifeline for many.
NAMI Buffalo & Western New York is an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for millions of Americans affected by mental illness. Begun from a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979, NAMI has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental illness. Today, it is an association of hundreds of local affiliates, state organizations, and volunteers who work in communities to raise awareness, and provide support and education. NAMI Buffalo & Western New York has served Erie County and beyond since 1984 and continues to support, educate and advocate for families and caregivers of individuals affected by mental illness. At its core, NAMI is families compassionately helping families of loved ones challenged by mental illness.
For more information about NAMI Buffalo & Western New York, to speak to a HelpLine volunteer, or to register for a group or class, call (716) 226-6264 or visit www.namibuffalony.org. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn by using the handle @NAMIBuffalo.
NAMI Buffalo’s Karl Shallowhorn featured in NAMI National Blog
Jan 2022 – Karl Shallowhorn, a NAMI Buffalo member for…decades…has a new blog up at NAMI National, “How Music Shaped My Mental Health Journey”. Check out his blog and look for his podcasts.
Karl is the Director of Youth Programs for the Medical Health Association of Western New York and President and Founder of Shallowhorn Consulting, LLC. He is the Chair of Affiliate Relations for the Mental Health Association in New York State Board of Directors and was a speaker for TEDx Buffalo 2021.
See his latest Blog, and check out many other topics and insights for those in recovery and those supporting a loved one’s recovery here.
As part of WBFO’s Mental Health Initiative funded by the Patrick P. Lee Foundation, on March 25, 2021 they produced a panel discussion, “Finding Home: Mental Health and Housing”. See the recorded show here.
The WBFO Mental Health Initiative also produced videos giving an inside look at mental illness. In the videos below, you will hear a story from a NAMI mother with a loved one with mental illness, and another by a son with mental illness.