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Leadership: In April, we elected three new board members as well as new officers. Our elected board now consists of: Dodie Adare; Zan Bockes; Sylvia Carollo; Monique Casbeer; Julie Joyce; Pat Kouris; Mary McCourt; Madeleine McKelvey; Sheila Mellgren; Debra Orozco; Jack Shifflett; Geri Stewart; Karen Ward; Darin Webster; and Bev Young. We reluctantly accepted Dorothy Salmonson’s resignation as President of NAMI Missoula. Our officers for 2017-2019 are: Jack Shifflett, President; Darin Webster, Vice-President; and Pat Kouris, Secretary. Karen Ward continues as Treasurer through December 31; Karissma Rufe will take over the position on January 1, 2018.

Fundraising: We focused our fundraising efforts on three events: the “Missoula Gives” online event in May, the “NAMI Walk” in September (including our second annual “Beautiful Minds” benefit), and our “Holiday High Tea” in December. We also received generous contributions from the Knights of Columbus and from The Loose Caboose, among others.

Benevolent Fund: Our Benevolent Fund “medication co-pay program” continues to operate in partnership with Savmor Drugs. We also are hopeful to expand this service to the new WMMHC pharmacy.  The Benevolent Fund Committee agreed to transfer $6000 from its account into our general fund, earmarked for “client emergencies”.

Community Outreach: We participated in the Nonprofit Day at Southgate Mall, in the St. Patrick Hospital’s “Mental Health Fair,” and in “Shine a Light on Mental Health” week at the university. We held two “NAMI Forums” in the spring at the Missoula Public Library; in May, Zan Bockes and Jack Shifflett did a poetry reading at “Fact & Fiction”.  In September, we participated in the “Out of the Darkness” suicide prevention event at McCormick Park.

Presentations: We added three new presenters to our “In Our Own Voice” roster in May. We have done presentations to the local colleges, to civic groups, and to all four local high schools; for the first time, we have spoken to middle-school students (at C.S. Porter). We also presented to the Montana Educators Association Conference in October.

Criminal Justice Issues: We continue to partner with the Missoula City Police’s “Crisis Intervention Training” program; we also work with the Public Defender’s office, the Jail Diversion Program at the Missoula Detention Center, and the Missoula Treatment Court.

Other Community Partners: We have met and worked with staff at Winds of Change, at Western Montana Mental Health Center, and with WORD. We meet monthly with Pete Snyder and staff at the Providence Center; we work closely with Project Tomorrow and with Heidi Kendall, the Missoula City-County Health Department’s suicide prevention coordinator. We have a strong relationship with the UM Curry Counseling Center, with the Resident Life office, and with the student groups “UM Mental Health Allies” and “Student Involvement Network”.

Provider Outreach: Deb Orozco developed a mailing list of local providers; we designed and printed a targeted brochure and mailed it to over 100 local providers. We are now linked to the UM “provider search” site and can use that to update and expand our provider listings.

Support Groups: We now offer five weekly support groups—our NAMI Crafts group on Wednesdays; our “weekly meeting,” NAMI Connection, and “Family Support & Education” groups on Thursdays; and our Providence Center inpatient group on Sunday afternoons.

Education Programs: We offered “Peer to Peer” in the spring and again in the fall, and “Family to Family” in the fall. We held two seminars in November for NAMI’s new pilot program, “NAMI Family & Friends”.

Montana State Hospital: We visit the hospital monthly to do a support and discussion group in the hospital’s Recovery Center.

Special Events: Events this year included our annual summer “Party in the Park,” our “Beautiful Minds” benefit at Imagine Nation, and the “Holiday High Tea” at the Florence. In addition, in September we held a party to honor Dorothy Salmonson for thirty-plus years of service to NAMI and to this community.

We wish all of you a joyous and peaceful holiday season!


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