Home ] Up ]


Mental Illness Facts
Strategic Plan
Giving Campaign
Donate Online





Join Our Mailing List


Need help? 

In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline






NAMI Illinois Strategic Plan: 

2004 – 2007 


1.   Growth & Development – Develop NAMI Illinois’ membership and leadership throughout the state, ensuring access to services and supports throughout Illinois’ diverse communities.

Vision / Goals: 

·                    NAMI Illinois is dedicated to the mission, vision and values of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  We are dedicated to reaching Illinois’ diverse communities and ensuring that all who turn to NAMI Illinois for help receive appropriate services.

·                    NAMI Illinois is joined by new and influential partners who provide support and funding to achieve NAMI’s strategic goals and mission.

·                    NAMI Illinois will pursue balanced and diversified funding.  NAMI Illinois’ funding base will be strengthened through source diversification and identification of new funding streams.  Dependence on any single, dominant funding source (government, corporate, or otherwise) will be reduced.


·                    Adopt Strategic Plan, Goals and Strategies that reflect the strong mission and values of NAMI Illinois.

·                    Develop and implement strategies to increase leadership roles and opportunities for multi-cultural and diverse populations throughout NAMI, including expansion of NAMI Illinois’s presence within university campuses, veterans’ facilities, teacher education programs, medical education programs, etc.

·                    Recruit, enroll, train, support and maintain an annual 20% increase in NAMI Illinois membership.  Develop a membership drive with NAMI affiliates collaborating with providers, as appropriate.

·                    Work with NAMI Illinois’ Consumer Council leadership to develop strategies that will ensure a meaningful role throughout NAMI Illinois.  Explore needs related to funding, recruitment, special projects (strategies and programs for inpatient contacts), etc.

·                    Explore ways to measure and increase consumer and family member satisfaction and inclusion.

·                    Develop and/or review NAMI Illinois communications to ensure culturally appropriate messages

·                    Establish and distribute a NAMI Illinois Welcome Pack

Key Measurements - NAMI has developed and is implementing plans to address the following:

·                    A multi-year plan that targets communities to better serve Illinois.

·                    Strategies and practices that move beyond outreach to true inclusion.

·                    A diverse cadre of leaders.

·                    Partnerships with minority and diversity groups, associations, organizations and institutions to collaborate on mutually beneficial projects.

·                    NAMI Illinois materials that are language- and design- appropriate.

·                    Culturally appropriate programming and resources.

·                    Fund Development –

·                    Expanded relationships with foundations

·                    Shared fundraising models

·                    Additional state funding

 2.      Public Awareness – Community leaders and the public increasingly understand the hope of recovery for all people living with mental illness and support early identification and treatment, crisis intervention and acute care, comprehensive community treatment and supports.

Vision / Goals:

·                    NAMI Illinois promotes early identification, intervention and treatment, education and recovery.  Messages of hope and recovery are central to NAMI Illinois’ campaign and will continue to lay the foundation for NAMI’s advocacy, programs and outreach.

·                    Educate community leaders to demand early identification, targeted intervention, and services and supports for people living with mental illness.  All populations increasingly understand the importance of individual recovery.

·                    NAMI leaders model compassion and empowerment for families and consumers in crisis and whose needs have remained unmet.


·                    Focus on educational programs and messages that reduce prejudice and stigma to eliminate discrimination.

·                    Develop media protocols, tools and consistent messages for NAMI Illinois and affiliates use throughout the state. 

·                    Develop and implement education strategies that increase the visibility of NAMI Illinois and work to make NAMI Illinois a household name. 

·                    Distribute Public Service Announcements.

·                    Publicize individual stories.

·                    Consider the potential of statewide mailers.

·                    Encourage feature stories, editorials and media placements.

·                    Develop a Statewide Events Calendar.

·                    Consider the feasibility of implementing NAMIWalks on a statewide basis.

·                    Analyze the impact of increased education by focusing on follow-through and evaluation with conference participants from both the Illinois Conference and Illinois delegation to National Conference 

Key MeasurementsNAMI Illinois has developed plans to: 

·                    Implement NAMI’s Campaign for the Mind of America to help people throughout Illinois strengthen their communities by increasing access to cost-effective, evidence-based mental health treatment and services.

·                    Use public education messages to achieve visibility and acceptance, making the NAMI Illinois name familiar throughout Illinois. 

·                    Refine internal NAMI operations to support increased levels of visibility, strengthen connections and enhance relationships with affiliates. 

·                    Develop and implement a strong advocacy program.


3.      NAMI Illinois will seek opportunities to educate target audiences throughout Illinois.  NAMI will empower families and consumers through customized, state of the art support and education.

Vision / Goals:

·                    Hope of recovery is a cornerstone of NAMI support and education programs.  NAMI Illinois will lead the way in demonstrating the roles that support, program participation and leadership play in the recovery process. 

·                    Consumers and families achieve personal and family well-being and recovery through support and education programs that uphold a standard of excellence.


·                    Develop proposals to fund a Statewide Education Coordinator to ensure NAMI Education support throughout the state

·                    Increase the number of programs offered and the frequency of training opportunities for NAMI consumers and NAMI family members. 

·                    Develop a recruitment and retention program for NAMI volunteers.

·                    Strategize methods and develop a comprehensive plan for involving and maximizing the support of faith communities for NAMI initiatives throughout the state.

·                    Develop/explore funding to expand NAMI Illinois’ Family to Family, Peer-to-Peer and In Our Own Voice throughout Illinois.

Key Measurements NAMI Illinois has plans that effectively:

·                    Expand support and education programs. 

·                    Ensure culturally competent, evidence-based and emerging science-based practices for family and consumer education and support programs.

·                    Expand collaborations with providers that support consumer-led evidence-based practices.

·                    Offer In Our Own Voice education program throughout Illinois, ensuring a presence in veteran’s facilities and community-based mental health centers and community organizations.

·                    Encourage providers to increase consumer and family participation. 

4.      Affiliate Relations:  NAMI Illinois and NAMI Illinois affiliates work together to strengthen one another and achieve strategic goals.

Vision / Goals:

·                    NAMI National, NAMI Illinois and its affiliates act as integrated, cooperative units working in interdependent collaboration with one another to create a strong statewide organization.

·                    NAMI Illinois staff and local leaders identify and nurture emerging leadership, provide on-going skills development, create new leadership and networking opportunities.

·                    NAMI Illinois will leverage technology to build connectivity throughout Illinois.  We will integrate “high tech” and “low tech / high touch” to support NAMI dialogue.

·                    NAMI Illinois will keep up with NAMI’s initiatives.  NAMI Illinois will “learn by doing” through voluntary pilots and demonstration projects, serving as a model for other NAMI state organizations.


·                    Meet with representatives of each Illinois affiliate to assess needs, discuss collaboration and vision a future that strengthens the affiliate and builds NAMI presence throughout Illinois. 

·                    Develop a variety of tools that can support affiliate initiatives, e.g. volunteer tool kits, sample bylaws and funding strategies. 

·                    Explore a variety of communications to support networking and collaboration among affiliates.

·                    Create a NAMI culture that embraces differences as opportunities to grow, that focuses on inclusion and positive mission driven action.

Key Measurements – NAMI Illinois has developed plans to:

·                    Ensure that collaborative relationships and systems support growth throughout the organization. 

·                    Increase communication among and between all Illinois NAMI affiliates.

·                    Ensure support for local affiliates to better meet the needs of their communities. 

·                    Ensure that NAMI Illinois affiliates, Consumer Council members, and staff (both paid and volunteer) are routinely involved in implementing NAMI’s strategic plan and operating standards.

·                    Support increased computer and Internet access for affiliates. 

5.      NAMI Illinois has an effective, well articulated Legislative Agenda for Illinois that effectively supports the needs and interests of NAMI consumers and family members.

Vision / Goals:

·                    NAMI Illinois has well cultivated relationships with key legislative leaders.

·                    NAMI Illinois plays a key role in state and national advocacy in issues related to mental health services, insurance, parity and other arenas of key impact and interest to NAMI members.

·                    NAMI advocates will effectively address needs of consumers across their life span in conjunction with NAMI’s Campaign for the Mind. 

ObjectivesNAMI Illinois will:

·                    Provide clear, concise information and instruction on issues to assist members in their advocacy efforts.

·                    Improve Legislative Alerts.  Develop consistent messages that encourage and support participation in the legislative process.

·                    Train and mobilize advocates throughout the state to ensure statewide impact.

·                    Elevate mental illness as an essential election issue in all elections.    

·                    Encourage Voter Registration Events / Encourage 100% of NAMI Illinois members to vote in each election.

·                    Develop the capacity to issue annual news releases and reports to key opinion leaders, policy makers and the media.

Key Measurements: 

·                    NAMI provides an up-to-date comprehensive legislative agenda / platform for affiliates and general members. 

·                    NAMI has positive relationships with key legislative leaders and their staff.

·                    NAMI membership communicates regularly with legislators to advance NAMI’s agenda.   

6.      Networking / Building Relationships:  People living with and recovering from mental illness have access to and benefit from improved mental health care systems that embrace family and consumer support and education.

Vision / Goals:

·                    The New Freedom Commission on Mental Health expresses the key elements of a transformed mental health system and provides a standard against which progress can be measured.  NAMI Illinois will leverage the New Freedom Commission report to achieve these goals.

·                    Development efforts will be mission-driven and rooted in a planning process that emphasizes strategic partnerships. 

·                    NAMI Illinois has expanded sources of funding, strengthened partnerships, and developed  new strategic alliances to better achieve NAMI’s education, support, advocacy and research mission, and has successfully funded the accomplishment of all strategic goals.

·                    NAMI’s visibility and “name recognition” will be increased and our voice amplified through partnerships.


·                    Strategic goals and key result measures will be developed and articulated to strengthen partnerships, better inform members and to support all fundraising endeavors.

·                    NAMI staff and volunteers will collaborate with law enforcement entities, the judicial branch, and other like partners to conceptually develop or design expanded initiatives related to: CIT, Mental Health Courts, Jail/Prison Diversion Programs, Campaign for the Mind, PACT, etc.

·                    Explore means and mechanisms to analyze community and consumer needs.  Develop a matrix that matches providers to identified needs and/or documents gaps in services.

Key Measurements: 

·                    NAMI Illinois is driving the positive transformation of Illinois’ mental health system through collaboration, active participation and leadership with legislative leaders, state officials, providers, consumers and colleagues who hold similar values.

·                    NAMI representatives will seek active participation on key advisory boards.

·                    NAMI will work aggressively to advocate for consumer and family early access to services and affordable housing.