Standards of Excellence

History of NAMI Standards of Excellence:

NAMI’s history of Affiliate formation goes back to 1979. Traditionally, NAMI Affiliates (NAs) are created by groups of individuals who embrace the mission of NAMI–to advocate for access to services, treatment, offer support, education, raise awareness, and its commitment to building a community of hope for all of those in need. Until 2018, new groups seeking Affiliation with NAMI arrived in various stages of development and readiness. New NAs chose their name without following the NAMI Board-approved naming policy prior to starting the process to create a new affiliate. New NAs were not required to have trained teachers or facilitators to conduct NAMI education classes. New NAs structures were loosely defined, and the passionate volunteers would give their time to an organization that did not provide them with insurance coverage. Over the years, however, many grassroots leaders have continued to ask important questions about NAMI, NAMI State Organizations (NSOs), and NAs’ operations, roles, responsibilities, and expectations that needed specific answers.

The Standards of Excellence (SOE) were created to provide those answers, with clear policies and required practices for operating legal and ethical organizations. Grassroots Engagement (2008-09) In 2006, during the NAMI Strategic Planning process, grassroots leaders asked for standards to help NAMI grow and become a household name. The Standards Work Group was formed in 2008 to develop proposed
the NAMI SOE. In 2008-09, NAMI conducted numerous town hall calls, surveys, and active listening sessions to collect the input of members and leaders. The goal was to create a mutually agreed upon SOE to help strengthen and protect the NAMI movement in an ever-changing environment to provide better help to people who need us.

NAMI Standards of Excellence: 

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